Hyderabad: Despite heavy rains across both the Telugu states, the water levels at Nagarjuna Sagar has reached the Minimum Draw Down Level (MDDL). The current water-level at Nagarjunasagar is 511.9 feet and it would reach 510 feet in a day which would be the MDDL-level which will force Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB )to supply 270 million gallons a day (MGD) of water which would quench the thirst of 2/3rd of the city’s population.
Surprisingly, even though the city has been facing water crisis every year, the HMWS&SB has been relying on conventional emergency pumping but not preparing a alternative mechanism to use Godavari River water during the crisis which could be drawn through gravity.
The Water Board has been currently supplying 450 million gallons a day (MGD) from Krishna Drinking Water Supply Project Phase I, II & III and Godavari phase I. Of them, total of 270 MGD is received from the projects on Krishna River. If the pumping of water from Krishna basin is delayed, around 2/3rd of the city would face severe water crisis.
The Telangana State Irrigation Department even informed the HMWS&SB that reliability of the existing water resource through Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir is diminishing at an alarming pace. Highly placed sources said that the emergency pumping would cost Rs 95 lakh per month, including electricity charges.
Sources said that there is sufficient water to draw from Godavari River with the decent inflows. The Water Board, which has been witnessing such water crisis every year ironically, have prepared an alternative mechanism to use Godavari River water during the crisis situation. However, if the Water Board delays emergency pumping for a day, around 80 lakhs in population would face severe water crisis.
A senior HMWS&SB official told DC that the Water Board has to be directed to use emergency pumping and check for an alternative mechanism for minimising the water crisis but it cannot be done overnight. He said that HMWS&SB has been conventionally relaying on emergency pumping both in Krishna and Godavari river basin, when the levels reach MDDL, but has not planned alternative mechanism to use Godavari water while Krishna water reaches MDDL and vice versa.
He said that citing the crisis, the HMWS&SB has already erected 10 pumps in Krishna River basin at the cost of `6 crores for pumping water and Rs 1 crore towards electricity charges. The Water Board official said that the HMWS&SB has to construct a ring main to bring the Krishna and Godavari water to every part of the city. Currently, the Water Board has been supplying 132 MGD from Yellampally (Godavari) to areas Qutubullapur, Kukatpally, Alwal, Patancheru Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills, Hydernagar, Seri Lingampally and Ramchandrapuram (RC Puram).
It has been supplying 268 MGD of water from Akkampally (Krishna) which has been supplied to remaining parts of the city.
“If the ring main is constructed, the Water Board can supply water only to the residents living in Greater Hyderabad regions but also to the residents living along outer ring road villages. It is a time consuming process and will take at least two months’ time,” the official added. Meanwhile, the HMWS&SB has been also supplying 48 MGD from Singur/Manjira.