Hyderabad: Municipalities in Telangana State face a huge deficit of drinking water, of around 138 million litres per day (MLD) according to a report by the TS state public health department. As a result of this shortage, residents are forced to drink unsafe water or untreated groundwater. Pipelines bursting, power failure, drying up of borewells, pumps breaking down are the main infrastructure problems in these urban local bodies (ULBs). In addition, around 807 borewells have dried up this year.
Three ULBs get water twice a day and 17 get water once a day. The other 52 ULBs undergo the terrible ordeal of getting water once in two to five days. Poor water management and infrastructure is a major cause of this horrible situation as pumps break down often, water sources dry up and pipelines burst.
According to the August report, the frequency of water supply has increased in 12 ULBs and decreased in four ULBs. And the quantity of water supplied has increased in nine ULBs and decreased in seven ULBs. This year alone, there were 853 pipeline leakages, of which 758 were arrested. There were 303 pipeline bursts, out of which 257 have been attended to. These leakages and pipeline bursts waste millions of litres of precious water, adding to the existing shortages and increasing the use of water tankers.
As water tables sink due to the vast number of borewells that have been dug as an alternative to civic water supply, these borewells dry up. Of the 21,841 functioning borewells, 807 have dried up this year. The state’s drinking water lifeline is the government’s pet project, Mission Bhagiratha, which is supposed to boost the frequency and supply of water across the ULBs.
“Mission Bhagiratha will help improve bulk supply in Suryapet, Mahbubnagar, Wanaparthi and other districts once it is completed. The mission’s deadline is 2018,” says Rameshwar Rao, former director, Operations, with HMWSSB and secretary of the Institute of Engineers.
He says that the water deficit in the state is directly proportionate to the annual rainfall received, so drying up of sources is the prime concern.
“At present, Nalgonda is running dry, so a large quantum of water from Nagarjunasagar has been diverted to Nalgonda district. Mission Bhagiratha is likely to bring relief to ULBs concerning water deficit,” he says confidently. People in these areas can only hope and pray that it is so....