Despite claims of abundant water being pumped into Salt Lake from the treatment plants in Tallah and New Town, residents of CL Block are facing acute water shortage. Many have had to buy water from tankers over the past few days and they are afraid they may have to keep doing so.
The reason is leaks in the pipelines from both Tallah and New Town water treatment plants near the underground reservoir cum booster pumping station near Tank no. 5 at Baisakhi. This reservoir with three million gallon capacity, inaugurated in 2020, supplies water to Tank 9 which in turn feeds CL Block and its neighbourhood.
“A valve got damaged on the Tallah supply line about a week ago. It was brought to our notice on Wednesday. We will do the repair ourselves and replace the valve without waiting for the KMDA to take action. There is another leak on the pipeline from New Town right next to it which has been revealed after a KMDA survey. The KMDA will look into that. But we hope once one of the pipelines is repaired the water flow would improve,” said an official of the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation.
This has forced the corporation to reduce supply from the reservoir from three times a day to twice a day.
Of the 11 million gallons of water that the corporation gets every day, 4MGD comes from the New Town plant and about 7MGD from Tallah waterworks.
Till the repair work is done, there will be no respite for residents of the block. Avijit Rudra said the pressure of water had reduced and that water had been trickling in through the corporation’s pipes since before Poila Baisakh. “But about three days ago, the condition went from bad to worse. We had to buy water. Four families have shared a tanker from a private agency. The last time we had to buy water was some 20 years ago,” said the CL Block resident on Tuesday.
His neighbour Justice (retd) Soumitra Sen tried calling a private tanker agency but was put on the waiting list. “They said they were over-booked and could only send me water after a day or two! Eventually I bought 2,400l from the corporation’s tanker at Rs 500. I know four to five more people in CL Block who have had to buy water over the past week.”
CL Block receives water from Tank 9 and water used to be sent thrice a day for about an hour at 6.30am, 11am and 4pm. Now the early morning supply has been stopped due to reduced supply to the reservoir. “While the winter went off smoothly, the demand for water is way higher in summer,” said Sen. “People bathe more often, need to wash more clothes, they drink more water...the authorities must increase supply urgently.”
Salt Lake Sanskritik Sansad runs a tanker service and executive committee member Sanjay Poddar said they were inundated with calls. “Demand has increased manifold and from every corner of the township. We are providing 50,000l of water a day and are still having to refuse many customers,” he said.
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