Large parts of south Calcutta are reeling from water shortage which civic engineers are attributing to an increase in consumption because of the heat and humidity.
Residents of places around Gariahat said the water supply had worsened over the past month. A resident of an apartment in Gariahat said the reservoir of their building was remaining partially empty every day as water pressure had dropped sharply.
Senior engineers at the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) said there was no shortfall in supply. The crisis, they said, is caused by a sudden spurt in consumption because of heat.
“People are bathing twice or thrice daily. Naturally, the demand for water has increased but the volume of water being treated by the various treatment plants has remained the same. There is no mechanism yet by which we can increase production immediately,” an engineer said.
The five water treatment plants of the CMC — in Palta, Garden Reach, Dhapa, Jorabagan and Watgunge — together produce 464 million gallons a day.
A resident of an apartment near Ekdalia Place in Gariahat told The Telegraph that all residents of the building were cutting down consumption of water. “The reservoir is always partially empty. So, we are being judicious in our use of water,” he said.
The situation is worse in parts of Jadavpur, Tollygunge and Garia. “We are setting up many deep-diameter tubewells in these areas as a temporary measure to deal with the shortage,” a CMC engineer said.
Asked about the complaint that water pressure in the Gariahat area has dropped, a CMC engineer said: “People there get water from the Palta-Tallah network. From Tallah, the water travels while feedings areas in north and central Calcutta. As the pressure drops on the way, it is routed through the Park Circus booster pumping station.”
Calcutta’s north and south has always been divided when it comes to access to water. While places like Cossipore in the north get 18 hours of water daily, Jadavpur and Kasba in the far south get around four hours of supply.
Also affected are the areas served by the Garden Reach water works. “The Garden Reach facility feeds places like Tollygunge, Jadavpur, Behala, Joka and Thakurpukur,” an official said.
In an interview to this newspaper after taking over as the city’s mayor in December, mayor Firhad Hakim had said that his “priorities include ensuring uninterrupted supply of potable water to all corners of the city”.
The chief minister had spoken about potable water not reaching some pockets of Jadavpur and Tollygunge during a meeting with Trinamul Congress councillors on November 23. Hakim was chosen as mayor at that meeting.
This newspaper reported on Tuesday that the CMC was planning to build a water treatment plant at Dhapa and another in Birji, near Garia. The two together will treat 40 million gallons a day. Once the two plants are functional, the water shortage in Jadavpur, Garia and Tollygung is expected to ease.