Most households depend on tankers for water
Most parts of Bidar’s old city are suffering from severe water scarcity. Residents of areas like Noor Khan Taleem complain that they get tap water only once in three weeks. Most households depend on tankers for drinking water.
Low rainfall in the last two seasons seems to have dried up open wells. Manjra river that supplied water to the city since 1980 has dried up. Water level in the Karanja reservoir, from where water is pumped to the city, has fallen drastically.
Houses, offices, shops and other institutions are all having a hard time. The mosque in Patal Nagari has put up a board asking believers to perform wazoo (washing hands and feet before prayers) at home. Long queues of women and children are seen before mini water supply tanks. Quarrels for water are a common sight.
“Only children in my family are getting a bath everyday. Others keep skipping baths for days,” Waifa Ashraf, a resident of Gole Khana, said. Ayesha Begum, of Quadriapura, has paid Rs. 800 for a tanker of drinking water. “If you bargain with him, he won’t come here next time,” she said.
The demand and supply mismatch has turned some young men into entrepreneurs. Wasif Ahmed, who dropped out of a diploma course, has bought a luggage auto and fitted it with a water tanker. He gets Rs. 400 to supply 2,000 litres of water.
Residents complain that indiscriminate digging of borewells has added to their problems. Murjtaba Hussein, who lives near Pansal Taleem, complains that his well dried up after the City Municipal Council dug two borewells within 10 metres of his well. “There are 440 borewells in Bidar, servicing a population of around 3 lakh. This is not sustainable,” Shashikant Malli, District Urban Development Cell engineer said.
No one is following the government’s regulation that there should be a gap of at least 100 metres between two bore wells. Legislators, CMC members and some resident associations pressurise officials into digging borewells, he said.
He also points out that residents have no awareness about sustainable methods like rain water harvesting to recharge open wells. Stake holders seem to be playing the blame game. People blame the CMC. CMC members blame the district administration and the district administration is blaming the rain gods.
“The groundwater here is naturally brackish. There is no source of sweet water anywhere here. What can I do? I cannot create water in my backyard,” Abdul Sawood, CMC member, said. District officials said water impounded in Karanja reservoir was around 1.5 tmcft. Early rains will solve a lot of problems, a senior officer said.
Manjra river, open wells have dried up
Water level in Karanja reservoir has fallen drastically
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