The state capital’s summer misery would have been lessened to a large extent, if not completely, if all public drinking water kiosks or peeyaus had been functioning.
Of the two dozen peeyaus either set up from MP Local Area Development (LAD) Funds or sponsored by private organisations like the Lions Club and the Marwari Yuva Manch Samaj, only three — Kutchery Chowk, Shaheed Chowk near Kotwali police station and HEC gate — are fit for use.
The rest have either gone dry or are so unhygienic that people, mostly rickshaw-pullers, auto drivers and pavement dwellers who cannot afford bottled water, would prefer to go thirsty rather than drink from there.
At many places like the SBI main branch, where a peeyau was installed by Marwari Yuva Manch Samaj in 2012, two taps were missing. Only one is working, but the water is impure.
“Probably a year back, the tank was cleaned. The water quality is not good for consumption,” said Yamuna Prasad, a local tea stall owner.
Curiously both the Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) and the Ranchi Zila Parishad brushed their hands off the maintenance of the water taps.
“RMC doesn’t run water kiosks, so we are not responsible for its upkeep. We only supply water to 98 localities in Ranchi through tankers,” the civic body’s health officer Ajay Manjhi said.
An official of the water board division passed on the buck to Ranchi Zila Parishad.
However, an official of Zila Parishad Amit Kumar said that they too were not responsible for the upkeep of peeyaus.
“We install water kiosks at the district and block offices. The water kiosks set up under MPLAD and by private parties are not our burden.”