Residents fill containers from a water tanker in Bermo on Wednesday. Picture by Pankaj Singh
Water shortage in Bermo and Chas subdivisions of Bokaro district has prompted deputy commissioner Uma Shankar Singh to turn to PSUs in the region to bail residents out.
With the mercury touching 42°C in the district, most ponds, wells and water pumps are lying useless.
Flooded with complaints about lack of water for drinking and other purposes in several areas, DC Singh sent a two-page order to Bokaro steel plant, BCCL, CCL, Electrosteel Castings Limited, ONGC, Bokaro thermal power station, Chandrapura power station and other DVC entities to send water tankers to the residential neighbourhoods.
The DC made it clear that the companies could use funds earmarked under corporate social responsibility (CSR).
“All PSUs have been directed to come forward to look after the water needs of people living in their zones. Apart from commissioning tankers, they can also get water pumps repaired or install new ones. Most of these companies have separate CSR funds,” Singh told The Telegraph.
Companies also must notify the villagers the day they would send tankers.
Sources in the district administration said that while Electrosteel Castings Limited has been assigned to cater to four villages in Chandankyari block, ONGC, which is working on a methane plant in Parbatpur, will take care of hamlets on the fringes, where even ponds and wells have dried up.
Apart from the PSUs, executive engineers of Chas and Tenughat public health and engineering (PHED) departments have received missives from the DC, asking them to repair all hand pumps that are not functioning properly.
Once repaired, lists of all the hand pumps have to be sent to his office.
The executive engineers have also been told to constitute a special emergency cell to receive complaints about water crisis. If needed, they have to supply water through tankers to affected areas. All BDOs and circle officers posted in blocks will have to be in touch with PHED engineers.
“The situation is bad in large swathes of Gomia, where Birhors live. Executive engineers will have to provide water to these areas on a need basis and repair defunct hand pumps,” Singh said.
Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam Limited has been told to supply regular power to Chas and Bermo to run the water pumps.