Rapid decline in water level at percolation wells giving authorities the jitters

The town is in for an acute water crisis, as the perennial problem of the town is sure to aggravate in another 10 days with the sources of water supply are dwindling rapidly.

Residents say getting drinking water supply once in two days has been a regular phenomenon in the town for the past couple of years. ““Now for the past few days, there has been no fixed timing for water supply which does not even last for more than half an hour. We get only two or three pots of water while the supply lasts,” Thotapalem P. Appa Rao, a resident said.

The civic body supplies 16 million litres of water per day to the town with the population of 2.45 lakh against the demand of 32 million litres per day (mld). The town has 18,300 individual tap connections, 458 public taps, and 966 bore wells. To cater to the demand, the civic body draws 9 mld from Mushidipalli (Thatipudi reservoir), and 7mld from Ramatheerthaalu and Nellimarla (River Champavati) schemes.

Owing to depleting water levels in percolation wells at River Champavati, the present supply has dropped by 2 mld. Municipal Engineer Manne Babu said that water would be supplied once in three days in places covered by Ramatheerthaaalu and Nellimarla schemes.

A municipal employee on condition of anonymity said that the official negligence was the main cause for the water crisis. Leakages in old water pipelines are also adding to the problem.

The government had released Rs. 44 crore for the replacement of the 307-km-long pipeline and construction of two reservoirs with a capacity to store 5 lakh litres each at the Vyasa Narayana Metta and Poolbaugh. While the work at V. N. Metta is going on at a snail’s pace, the contractor is awaiting allotment of the site at Poolbaugh. Meanwhile, Municipal Commissioner R. Somannanarayan has opened a call centre with phone number 225022 for receiving complaints on various civic problems.