Residents of the innumerable colonies in the East Zone of GHMC shudder at the mere mention of the impending summer, as it immediately brings to mind the phantoms of water travails they had to undergo last summer.
Borewells went totally dry, and tankers were hard to get due to unmanageable demand. Municipal water supply was all that they had to depend on, yet it came as a trickle. The situation, however, has not reached that stage as of now in the zone, though it is too early to arrive at conclusions.
“All the borewells parched. We had to get them flushed and deepened to have a replenishment of water. As of now, the situation is not that bad. But it could worsen in the coming days,” said G.B. Rao, a resident of Hill Colony.
However, not everybody is as fortunate. Many colonies in L.B. Nagar and Kothapet went absolutely dry years ago, and depend exclusively on tankers. Come summer, tankers are hard to get, due to high premium placed on water.
“Situation for us improved when a third borewell was dug in our apartment complex last year. But it has not lasted long, as a deeper bore-well by my immediate neighbour deprived us of water. It has become a perennial problem for us,” says P. Hanumanth Reddy, a telecom employee residing in Mohan Nagar.
Majority of the apartment dwellers in the areas surrounding Kothapet, Maruthi Nagar, Chaitanyapuri, Mohan Nagar, Green Hills Colony, and Telephone Colony depend on water tankers for their daily needs. Dwindling of municipal water is another major complaint.
“The duration of water supply has reduced to less than half-an-hour now. And the pressure too has decreased,” said Kalavathi, a domestic help who lives in a small portion of a house in Maruthi Nagar. Same is the complaint by Syed Bilal from Shankar Nagar slum of Malakpet.
Most of the slums in the zone receive water through tankers plied by the Water Board once in two days. However, the situation at the JNNURM Colony in Abdullapurmet area of Hayatnagar has not seen any improvement since last summer.
About 63 borewells dug in the colony by the GHMC went totally dry last summer, due to which about 25 tankers were plied on daily basis. The situation remains the same even now, despite addition of 12 more borewells. “Lack of Metro water pipeline is leaving the colony thirsty. Seven to eight tankers each are plied by GHMC and Rural Water Supply department respectively to address the crisis. This number will increase with the advancement of summer,” an official from the Ranga Reddy collectorate says.
Another plan is to dig more borewells in an empty government land nearby, and lay pipelines from there to the colony. How far this plan, with inherent threat to groundwater resources, will sustain the colony is the moot question.