Many flats remain unoccupied even after two years of completion
For the residents of the sprawling JNNURM housing colony near Abdullapurmet, each little water droplet is a precious jewel which ought to be stored away and used judiciously.
For, not even half of the 63 bore-wells dug by GHMC for the housing complex are functional now. Even among those functioning, a large majority are reduced to a trickle, thanks to the protracted dry season and the present hot spell.
“Water availability is the biggest problem here due to which many flats remain unoccupied two years after completion. Acute water scarcity was felt six months ago when bore-wells started to dry up, and now each new day sees a few more faltering,” said G. Nagamani, an occupant.
The colony is not yet connected to the feeder lines of the Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board, though substantial funds were allocated as part of the project for development of external infrastructure. Instead, the corporation had bore-wells dug up randomly in the 40-acre hilly region.
Majority of the residents are now dependent on the water tankers plied by GHMC and Ranga Reddy district's Rural Water Supply department. Every day, four to five trips are made by a GHMC tanker from L.B.Nagar Circle for supply of drinking water, while about 15 tankers from RWS provide water for other uses. However, it is not every day that each single family gets its quota. The tankers visit the blocks by turns.
“Tanker comes once in five days, and the water is shared by four blocks.
Drinking water or bore water, it scarcely suffices the washing and cleansing needs. People largely buy drinking water from outside,” says Mustafa, a resident of the colony.
Incidentally, Mustafa sells purified water in bubbles which arrive from a plant in Charminar area. He claims that the demand in the colony itself crosses 200 bubbles per day. The colony has 208 blocks in all, each block accommodating 24 single-room apartments. A water cistern is placed in front of every G+2 block for the tanker to empty in. While those staying in ground floors find it comparatively easier, residents of top floors are forced to heave potfuls and bucketfuls upstairs.
Instances of residents spending their own money to get the bore-wells flushed are not rare, while some even went to the extent of deepening them. This led to rancour among the residents for the fear of deepened bore-wells rendering the shallower ones dry. Water wars are a daily occurrence when the tankers come. Attempts to ‘steal' water from others' bore-wells led to scuffles and even police cases. However, the situation is saved by the fact that not all apartments are occupied presently.
Of the 4,992 flats, only about 2,500 have so far been handed over to the beneficiaries. Out of them, only 1,610 are being physically lived in.
“As of now, we are supplying only 75,000 litres daily from the nearby Bata Singaram village. But provided all the houses are occupied, and all the bore-wells go dry, we will have to supply a minimum of 25 lakh litres of water every day,” gasps an official from the Ranga Reddy district.