Not everyone gets 110 litres of water

Water distribution in the city continues to be irregular, biased and not uniform.

Hyderabad: The Union ministry for water resources has stated that the consumption of water per person per day should be 110 litres by any means – piped supply or through tankers. In Hyderabad the distribution of water is irregular, biased and not uniform. The OU Campus IV area receives a 5,000-litre tanker once in two days for 160 families, or 800 individuals, which means around three-four litres per head per day. Each of the 180 families at Indiranagar, Uppal, receives five pots, or 125 litres, per day per family of five to six members. Apartments meanwhile get more than 300 litres per individual per day.

On the other hand, Khaja Bagh, Saidabad, that has around 800 families, has no water connection nor does it receive water tankers regularly. Dr Lubna Sarwath, co-convenor of Save Our Urban Lakes, said, “The Union ministry of Water resources 2015 booklet states: ‘According to public health norms, an individual needs 110 litres per day. In other words 550 litres of water per day for a family of five members.’ Despite water being a basic human right as recognised by the United Nations Resolution of 2010, a few areas in Hyderabad don’t get proper supply.”

Presently the Water Board is supplying 355 million gallons of water from its reservoirs from Akkampally (Krishna) and Sripada Yellampally (Godavari). This water is supplied to a population of nearly 1 crore in the GHMC area spread across nearly 688 sq. km. Dr Sarwath added, “As per an RTI reply, around 2000 million litres per day of sewage (domestic and industrial) flows untreated into the Musi. Foreign aid and technologies of sewer pipes, interception and diversion structures and sewerage treatment plants have only contributed to laying sewage pipes into water bodies while STPs allow undertreated water into water bodies. No diligence was exercised in harvesting the purest form of water resource, which is rain.”

A Water Board operations and maintenance department officer said, “The non-uniform distribution of water is due to varied reasons: Due to rationing (less availability of water) the standard supply cannot be followed. Then there’s no pipeline network in many areas, thus water has to be supplied by tankers. Water is also lost due to various issues like leakages, theft — illegal connections, drawing excess water than required etc. At some divisions the supply per capita is 150 litres per day and in other areas it is below 100 litre per day.”

Illegal route to avoid long wait:

Consumers who apply for water connections are kept waiting for months and are forced to illegally connect to the main pipeline to draw water or to connect sewerage lines. Water Board records show that 5,000 applications are pending at present. This cuts into the board revenue while other consumers suffer due to less supply or low pressure. Mr R. Ramakrishna from Sitaphalmandi said, “I applied for a second connection in January 2016 with supporting documents and paid the processing fee. The feasibility study was completed by the section officer. The application file status is still shown as pending approval by the DGM. I have paid all water bills promptly.”

While this is so, vigilance teams catch residents who apply for water connections and then get illegal connections with the help of plumbers, which is an offence under the Indian Penal Code. The plumbers are also liable for punishment under the IPC. A senior official from the Water Board said, “Connections are only released through the GPRS-enabled Green Brigade app. They are released after taking photographs of the premises so that there is no scope for any irregularity.” For this, he said, the staff has to inspect the site and then submit the report for approval.

“In March, our staff was engaged in tax collection… the connections will be approved at the earliest. Also, conversion of connections from ‘domestic’ to ‘commercial’ is in progress. The minister for municipal administration has asked the board to clear approvals in the 100-day action plan,” he said. Meanwhile, a Water Board vigilance team detected two illegal water connections at KK Towers at Yellareddyguda that has 42 flats. The building had two illegal connections. A case has been booked against Mr Sheshagiri Rao and Mr Rammohan, representatives of KK Towers, and 42 occupants of the building.

Vigilance team chief A. Pradeep Reddy warned, “Apartments having water or sewerage connection other than those officially sanctioned by HMWS&SB are treated as illegal. The managing body of the apartment and occupants are collectively responsible for them. Criminal cases will be booked against them.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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