ANDHRA PRADESH

Only rain can save

Water board mulls further curtailment in supply

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: With barely 1.1 tmc water left in Singur and no signs of rain, the Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) is now faced with the eventuality of introducing large-scale curtailment in supplies.

The water supply position has taken a turn for the worse as Singur accounts for half of the city's supplies. The board has been scurrying the dead storage level in the reservoir for the past two months. Further, despite rain in upstream Maharashtra, there have been no inflows whatsoever into it.

High-level meet today

Officials contend that the existing volume in Singur could be stretched till October if the supplies are curtailed and the tentative plan is to introduce weekly twice or once in four days supply.

The matter is likely to figure in the high-level meeting scheduled for Wednesday after the water board Managing Director, K.S. Jawahar Reddy, returns from Delhi. So bleak is the situation that board officials have concluded that only rain can save Hyderabad from its worst-ever water crisis.

"The water will last this month at the most. If only there is good rain for three to four days and we get 2 tmc water in any of the reservoirs, we will be able to save the situation," a board official said.

As against the full storage capacity of the five drinking water sources of 39.778 tmc, the storage level on Monday stood at an abysmal 1.806 tmc - 1.108 tmc in Singur, 0.060 tmc in Manjira and a paltry 0.638 tmc in the Krishna.

The corresponding figure for the same day last year was much better at 9.079 tmc.

Singur and Manjira account for about 90 MGD of the city supplies, with an equal volume coming from the Krishna project while Himayatsagar and Osmansagar have completely dried up.

Emergency pumping has begun at the Singur reservoir, with the water levels plummeting to an all-time low two months ago. Seventeen pumps have been installed to draw water from the dead storage level at a cost of Rs. 4 crores.

A similar situation arose during the summer of 1994, but rain saved the day then and emergency pumping plans were shelved.

And it is rain again that board officials are looking up to.

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