Rains revive dying Charwa reservoir - Officials confident of restoring water supply, farmers foresee a good yield after two years

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 20.06.11

Hazaribagh, June.19: First, the bad news: the spells of rain that lashed the district in the past 48 hours have paralysed life in the town of Hazaribagh. Power supply has been hit badly and most shops have downed shutters.

Now, the good news: incessant downpour for the past two days has given a new life of life to the almost choked Charwa dam.

Built in 1954, water in this sole lifeline for over 4 lakh residents of Hazaribagh town had reached the dead level with the drinking water and sanitation department struggling to make the best use of the precious little that remained. Funds were allotted, desiltation work began and deep borewells planned. However, the dam kept choking and supply of water, which was being provided to the town every alternate day, had to be completely stopped.

That was when the rain god decided to step in with his generosity. The sky opened up and now, if the officials are to be believed, the water level in the dam is hovering at the 12ft mark.

“The rains have come as a relief for the district that had been reeling under acute water crisis. I hope the district receives abundant rainfall this year,” said local Congress MLA Saurabh Narayan Singh.

Singh, who had earlier visited the dam to take stock of the situation and instructed officials to ensure that water supply was restored at the earliest, also expressed hope that with enough rainfall, the town residents could now have their quota of daily water.

Executive engineer of the drinking water and sanitation department Kishore Kumar Verma also sounded positive.

“We are in a position to resume water supply. Initially, we might be able to provide water only once a day but we hope to normalise the situation in three or four days and increase the frequency to twice a day,” Verma said.

He added that the town needed around 30 lakh gallons of water daily whereas they had only 10 lakh gallons at their disposal, which they would start supplying.

“The desiltation work of the dam is complete and the storage capacity of the reservoir has now increased,” Verma claimed.

The villagers of Hedlaag, who had been living a hand-to-mouth existence for the past two years, too considered the rain as a good omen.

“Katkamsandi is considered to be the agricultural belt of the district. With the rain god being merciful we are sure that we can have a good crop this year,” said Nirmal Sao, a villager, adding “Mushkil ke din ab khatam (the days of trouble are now over).”

Businessman Ravi Ranjan Singh, however, chose to send out a warning.

“We had been craving for water for the past two years. Now, with enough rainfall, the residents should ensure that the water is not wasted,” he said.

But septuagenarian Subodh Mehta was sceptical.

“It has been raining for the past two days. Yet, the water levels in the wells have not gone up. It just shows the levels to which the underground water table has been depleted,” the Ichak block resident said.

He, however, hoped that the worst was behind them.

“I hope there are better days ahead for us,” Mehta said.