Over 5 lakh residents of Jharia heaved a sigh of relief on Thursday when water supply was partially restored after seven days of acute crisis.
Mineral Area Development Authority’s (Mada) Jamadoba-based water treatment plant resumed supply in Jharia town around 4pm on Thursday.
Indresh Shukla, technical member-cum-executive engineer of Mada, said: “We completed the repair of the ruptured pipeline around 11am and started storing water in the main tank. As soon as the tank became half-full, I instructed the officials of the water treatment plant to restart supply. Regular supply will begin from tomorrow (Friday) as it takes around 12 hours to fill up the entire tank.”
Shukla said the crisis had aggravated because of leaks developing at several places in the main pipeline.
“I had to personally supervise the repair work after the fourth day when the problem intensified. Even the workers were getting impatient because no sooner did they plug a leak, another one had developed in some other place,” Shukla added.
Expressing his happiness over the resumption of water supply, Shekhar Kumar, a resident of Koiri Bandh locality in Jharia, said he would finally take a bath after four days.
Kumar, who works in the finance department of Bharat Coking Coal Limited, said: “When my wife gave me the good news over phone, I asked her not to use up all the water, so that I can take a bath after returning home from office in the evening.”
Shilpi Mishra, a homemaker in Hetli Bandh locality, said their limited stock of drinking water had exhausted two days back.
“We have a well at our home and used its water to perform daily chores. But we have been purchasing packaged water for Rs 25 per 20 litre since our limited stock of drinking water supplied by Mada got over two days got.
In Jharia, if the water crisis continues for three days at a stretch, the problem becomes acute because the majority of the area falls in the mining zone and additional sources of water such as wells and hand pumps are very few.