Water is an emotive issue. Not a day passes without people giving vent to their pent up feelings. With a severe shortage looming ahead, water is raising passions yet again. To be at the helm of affairs of the Water Board at this juncture is certainly not an easy task. But J. Syamala Rao, managing director, HMWSSB, is all confidence. He is hopeful of maintaining supplies with some cuts till monsoon arrives.
What is the water position now?
Not very bright. Osmansagar and Himayatsagar have less than 50 per cent of water as compared to last year. Singur too has just one-third of the level it had last year. In the next few days we will have to switch over to emergency pumping in Himayatsagar and a fortnight later in Osmansagar. Arrangements are being made for emergency pumping in Krishna too.
How much will be the shortfall in summer?
When Osmansagar and Himayatsagar dry up there will a shortfall of 40 mgd. This will be made up by diverting water from Krishna. Overall there will be 10 to 15 per cent shortfall of water all over the city.
How do you propose to meet the situation?
We are focusing on inter-connection linking one reservoir to another so that water can be drawn and supplied wherever needed. In core city, tanker trips will be increased. About 20 to 30 additional tankers are being acquired to meet the demand in summer.
Any monetary grant from government to meet the summer challenge?
Yes. The government has agreed in principle to sanction Rs. 40 crore to take up emergency works though we asked for Rs. 51 crore. Each division is being given Rs. 35 lakh to take up repairs to borewells, arrest leakages and attend to other urgent works.
The situation in surrounding municipalities is very critical. Any plans to resolve the crisis?
It is basically due to poor network. A Rs. 1,000 crore project is being taken up for network improvement in Malkajgiri, Alwal, Uppal and Qutbullapur municipalities. The DPR is ready and is being sent to the government of India for drawing funds from JICA.
What is the progress of Godavari and Krishna Phase III projects?
Godavari work is progressing briskly and nearly 50 per cent work is over. Pipeline has been laid for 113 km of the 186 km length. Getting the Forest Department clearance for the Master Balancing Reservoir at Ghanpur is the only hitch. We are hopeful of getting the necessary clearance in next two month. As for Krishna Phase III the work will start soon.