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SMC waits for experts, 4 wards go dry

Siliguri, July 21: The civic authorities today said technicians from Ahmedabad were likely to arrive here by Wednesday and repair the defunct pump at Pareshnagar because of which, regular water supply has been disrupted across the town. Four wards did not get water today.

Over 35,000 people in five wards of Siliguri Municipal Corporation have been facing inconvenience for the past four-five days after a pump that was installed last month stopped working.

SMC commissioner S.W. Bhutia said the supply was likely to resume in two-three days.

“There are two pumps in the Pareshnagar pump house run by the PHE. The one installed last month has stopped functioning. As warranty period of the machine is not over, PHE engineers have called for technicians from the company (from which the pump was bought) in Ahmedabad. They are on the way and are likely to arrive here latest by Wednesday. As soon as they finish repairing the machine, water supply would resume. The other pump is working,” he said.

Last month, over 50,000 people in nine SMC wards had to face water crisis for around 20 days as the pump in Pareshnagar stopped working. A new pump was installed last month but even that broke down last week.

Around 30,000 people in wards 38, 39, 40 and 41 of the SMC did not get water today, the local councillors said.

“Residents of my ward are suffering because of non-supply of water. If the supply is not resumed in a couple of days, we will gather the aggrieved residents and demonstrate on the SMC premises,” Deb-shankar Saha, the councillor of ward 39, said.

With the taps going dry, people of the affected wards are banking on neighbouring areas to get water. Some residents are buying packaged water or drawing water from wells.

Ward 41 councillor Atul Das said: “The new pump was installed hardly a month ago and it has become dysfunctional. The civic authority is trying to save face. They are saying such initial hiccups are common and it would take some time for the pump to function in its optimum capacity.”

He added: “This morning, all we could see was a trickle for 15-20 minutes. The supply line dried up later in the day. Despite the halt in water supply for over a fortnight last month, no alternative was planned by the PHE or the SMC.”

Dilip Singh, the councillor of ward 42, met Bhutia today to discuss the current water problem in the SMC wards.

“The civic authorities could not give proper reason for the malfunctioning. There is no additional pump at the PHE pump house to tackle the crisis. Such frequent interruptions in water supply only indicate the pathetic state of affairs at the civic body, which is being run without an elected board or any administrator for the past two months,” Singh said.