Dhalbhum SDO Subodh Kumar (left) during the meeting at the district collectorate on Wednesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
East Singhbhum district administration, facing fierce protests from parched areas, urged corporate, government and civic representatives on Wednesday to combat the drinking water crisis with tanker supply on a day three fasting Bagbera agitators had to be hospitalised.
Subdivisional officer (Dhalbhum) Subodh Kumar, who called a two-hour emergency meeting at the district collectorate, invited corporate representatives, special officers of Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC), Mango Notified Area Committee (MNAC) and Jugsalai Municipality, bureaucrats and others. All were asked to cooperate to ensure water supply in and around Jamshedpur from April 1.
Drinking water and sanitation department (DW&SD) executive engineers and JNAC officials were asked to repair defunct tube wells in their respective command areas within 10 days.
Corporate entities Jusco, Tata Motors, Tata Power, Lafarge, The Indian Steel and Wire Products (IS&WP), Tarapore and Company and PSU Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) were asked to state how many tankers they had and how many trips they could make to supply water to the city fringes.
“Sensing the gravity of the situation this summer, we asked corporate entities and public sector enterprises to share the burden of water scarcity with local urban bodies and tide over the crisis,” said Dhalbhum SDO Kumar.
He added the meeting was fruitful.
“We received assurance from all representatives during the meeting that they would start supplying water through tankers from April 1. Defunct tube wells in residential areas will be repaired within 10 days,” the SDO said.
Meanwhile, a two-member medical panel formed by East Singhbhum civil surgeon Jagat Bhushan Prasad admitted three Bagbera residents on hunger strike, including a woman, to MGM hospital in Sakchi around 2.30pm when they fainted.
The trio, Sabitri Kerai (23), Krishna Bahadur (74) and Anil Mahato (49), were among the striking 11 near Bagbera police station. They were protesting against the non-execution of the Rs 132-crore rural project that promised piped water to over 2 lakh residents.
Taking note of Bagbera’s volatile situation, Jusco and Tarapore and Company have agreed to supply water through tankers of 12,000 litres and 1,000 litres. The district administration will also ask Rapid Action Force (RAF) to supply water through tankers.
NGO Jugsalai Shiv Ghat Samiti has also agreed to provide four water tankers of 1,000-litre capacity each and zilla parishad member-cum-BJP leader Raj Kumar Singh will hire two tankers to supply water to the city’s southern fringes.
In another development on Tuesday, governor Syed Ahmed, at a review meeting of the DW&SD in Ranchi, asked the department’s principal secretary Sudhir Prasad to get the Rs 64.18-crore Mango drinking water project by April 30 “anyhow”.
“The governor said Jusco, the executing agency, should not be allowed further extension after April 30. The governor may also visit the site after that,” Prasad said.
Prasad has asked superintendent engineer of DW&SD (Adityapur circle) Umesh Gupta, who joined on March 1, to furnish an immediate status report on the water project, he added. The big-ticket project has missed several deadlines, leaving nearly three lakh Mango residents thirsty.