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Water scarcity leaves CCpur denizens high and dry

 Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 02 2019: People staying in urban areas of Churachandpur district collectively spend upto Rs 1,87,80,000 per month due to shortage of water which forces them to buy water from tankers for their daily use including household purpose and drinking, as per social researcher Serto Tondana Kom.

Speaking to media persons at Manipur Press Club today, Serto said that water is necessary for human survival and denying the same to the population of a town is a gross violation of human rights and is against the right to live.

He explained that regarding this issue he filed a PIL before the Manipur Human Rights Commission yesterday and the MHRC registered a complaint directing the Secretary, PHED and DC Churachandpur, to take up ne6essary action in this regard.

Serto said that as per the official data records of the entire State for the 'Go To Village' mission of 2018-19, 246 complaints were enrolled/recorded with regard to the National Rural Drinking Water program and out of these, 183 had been delivered while 31 are pending and 32 were rejected.

With regard to PHED, 136 complaints were received out of which 90 were delivered, 31 are pending and 15 were rejected as per official records and in a similar manner, as per the report concerning the water supply scheme (State plan), two complaints were enlisted but none were delivered or rejected, he claimed.

He then alleged that the report about the National Rural Drinking water program is questionable considering the acute shortage of water faced by the people of Churachandpur district and explained that Khuga Dam was constructed at a cost of around Rs 250 crore to facilitate multipurpose irrigation of upto 150 square kilometres of land and for providing 23,000 mm of drinking water as well as generating upto 1.75 MW of electricity per day, for the town.

The people of Churachandpur district depend on Khuga Dam, Lanva river and Koite river as their main sources of drinking water and during his two days survey at Khuga Dam and its surrounding areas, he alleged that he found the IFCD office being established at a rented room located at IB road.

Only two employees were found that day and when asked, one of the employees replied that the officers and staff come to the office only once in a week.

When asked about the problems faced by authority concerned in providing water to the people, the staff stated that there is no proper electricity in the dam as a minimum of 15 to 16 hours of power per day is required for the machines/pumps to function but at present, the machines/pumps are hardly operating as not more than 2 or 3 hours of electricity are available per day.

Serto continued that the staff explained that water was sent from the dam to 6 different water reservoirs installed in different parts of the district and due to the non availability of proper pipes, the water from the water reservoirs could not be despatched to the villagers.

At present, the reservoirs are able to provide water to only those staying inside a half kilometre radius from the respective reservoirs, he added.

He further said that the staff also informed him that they sent a request to the authority concerned regarding the situation of the pipe about two years back but to no avail.

Due to such problems, Churachandpur district has been facing acute shortage of water for the past many years, Serto said, adding that his ground survey revealed that the populace of the town depend on private tankers supplying water and the people pay Rs 500 per water tanker twice a week.

The common people are not able to afford the price and this situation is a violation of human rights and is against the right to live.

Serto also highlighted that as per the report of Manipur Economic Survey 2018-19, out of the districtwise water supply status till December last year, Churachandpur district had the highest inhabited areas covered by water supply scheme in the State, at 51 percent.

However, the census report showed that in the urban area of Churachandpur 8.7 percent had access to tap water, 78.6 percent well water, 3.2 percent hand pump water and 9.5 percent from other sources available in the district.

He then alleged that the failure to provide water to the public clearly shows the negligence of the authority concerned in utilizing the dam Serto also appealed PHED to carry out an area or district wise survey or inspection to take up proper measures for supplying water.