A Mango resident with a bottle of muddy water collected from a municipal tap and a bowl (below) of the same water in Jamshedpur on Saturday. Pictures by Bhola Prasad
Jamshedpur, June 23: If you asked Kunwar Bustee resident Ramesh Vidyarthi what the colour of drinking water was, he would probably say brown.
An employee of a private firm in Adityapur Industrial Area, Vidyarthi has been surviving on bottles of mineral water (each costs Rs 12) for the past two days or roughly the time since the public tap near his residence started guzzling out muddy water.
The monsoon might have brought relief from the sweltering heat, but nearly three lakh residents of Mango, like Vidyarthi, are being forced to go without proper drinking water since yesterday, after the public taps near their residences started spewing water laced with sediments.
The situation, which officials at the drinking water and sanitation department believed had been brought about by the high turbidity of Subernarekha River due to heavy rains and was not likely to improve before Monday at least.
Speaking to The Telegraph here today, Mango Nagar Vikas Samity president Vikas Tiwary said that they had already registered a complaint with the drinking water and sanitation department.
“Officials at the drinking water and sanitation department have said that the situation would continue for some more days. We plan to launch an agitation against the drinking water and sanitation department and the Mango Notified Area Committee (MNAC),” Tiwary said.
A frustrated Dimna Road resident Srikanth Mishra also held the drinking water department and MNAC rsponsible for their misery
“The drinking water and sanitation department has asked for three days. The MNAC officials have completely washed their hands off the issue, going to the extent of stating that they merely collected water bills as directed by the state urban department,” Mishra said.
Executive engineer of the drinking water department Bipin Bihari Sinha, on the other hand said that they were doing everything they could to restore the supply of clean drinking at the earliest.
“We have increased chemical dosing that is application of lime, bleaching powder and alum in untreated water from Subernarekha River at our filtration plant and hope to start supply of clean water by Monday,” Sinha said.
The only saving grace in the situation has been Jusco taps near the Vidyasagar Setu that witnesses serpentine queues daily.
Some residents even cross the Subernarekha to get in the city areas for quenching their thirst. For others, like Vidyarthi, bottled water from a general store is the only way out in times of emergency.