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Updated: July 14, 2013 00:56 IST

It’s not all right on the water front

J. S. Iftekhar
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The Water Board is considering options such as cuts to bulk consumers outside the GHMC area and rescheduling of supply timings to deal with water crisis during Ramzan and Bonalu

To cut or not to cut. The Water Board is faced with a Hamletian dilemma.

With Ramzan and Bonalu starting the situation is dicey. Though officials put up a brave face, they admit privately that things are really “critical”. Both the festivals are going to put heavy demand on water, which is in short supply.

The downpour in the last two days has brought in half a tmc water in Singur-Manjeera and some inflows in Osmansagar and Himayatsagar, but there is nothing to cheer about.

As it is, there is a shortfall of 23 million gallons of water a day (MGD), with the city’s principal reservoirs going almost dry. As against the normal supply of 340 MGD, Hyderabadis are now getting just 317 MGD.

The Board is contemplating imposing a further cut of 5 MGD to cope with the critical situation.

It is considering various options, including cuts to bulk consumers like industries outside the GHMC area. Another option before the Board is to go for rescheduling of supply timings.

Water Board Managing Director J. Syamala Rao has asked officials to come out with strategies to tide over the situation, which has worsened with practically no inflows into the reservoirs. During the last one month after monsoon set in, the inflows into the reservoirs have been negligible.

“We might have gained just four to five days of water and nothing much,” an official said.

The authorities are wary of curtailing supplies during Ramzan when demand for water goes up. In fact, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has asked the Board to ensure uninterrupted water supply from 6 a.m to 6 p.m everyday and from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Eid.

The Board has also been directed to press into service 300 additional tankers during the festive month. Incidentally, this has put the Board in a piquant situation.

“There will be no further cuts during Ramzan. The same quantum of water will be supplied,” said D. Sunder Ram Reddy, CGM (Transmission).

Presently, the Board is drawing 10 MGD each from Osmansagar and Himayatsagar, but after treatment this quantum comes down to 9 MGD and 8 MGD, respectively. The levels in Singur and Manjeera have also plummeted.

Nevertheless, the authorities continue to draw 120 MGD using 17 emergency pumps. The water level at Singur is 4 TMC, and it will last till August end, officials maintained. But, they are worried about the accumulated silt, which reduces the available water by nearly 2 TMC.

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