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Water woes spill onto streets

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By VISHVENDU JAIPURIAR
  • Published 14.02.11
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Hazaribagh, Feb. 13: Residents of the ward no-6 today blocked Main Road for three hours demanding water and opposing the district administration’s move to dig deep borewells in different wards for which the state government has sanctioned Rs 1.91 crore.

Residents said they were facing an acute water crisis after the Charwa Dam reservoir dried up and could not meet the water demands of close to 3.5 lakh residents of Hazaribagh. Residents said deep borewells would only deplete the water table further.

Constructed in 1954, Charwa reservoir originally supplied water to a population of 30,000 people, but the load has increased manifold since then. Moreover, the lake has shrunk considerably due to siltation. The water level reached the dead level on Tuesday and officials expressed their inability to supply water from the dam anymore.

In the absence of any alternative source of water, the authorities were finding it difficult to meet the water demands of the people, which was nearly 25 lakh gallons per day. The district administration had forwarded the plan of digging five deep borewells in all 32 wards of the town to tackle the water crisis and the state government had sanctioned Rs 1.91 crore for the purpose.

However, residents alleged that the borewells were useless. They said the district administration never bothered to recharge ponds and other reservoirs of the district could have maintained the ground water level. They added that borewells were being dug only close to the homes of those with connections among authorities.

The residents said the entire project was a waste of money and the administration should come up with an effective plan to meet the water demands. They said the borewells should be dug near the eight water towers which would allow convenient supply to the rest of the town through existing pipelines.

Resident Usman Khan said it was hard to arrange water everyday in the absence of supply from Charwa. He said the administration had left them without anything to fall back on. “Everyday we have to walk to other localities in search of a hand pump or well from where we can fetch water,” he added.

Angry residents blocked the busy Jhanda Chowk on Main Road from 9am for three hours to protest against the water crisis.

Block development officer Santosh Kumar rushed to the spot and tried to pacify the agitators. He listened to all their demands and assured them of a solution.