It’s an attempt to prevent musclemen from taking the lion’s share of water supplied through tankers in parched Madhya Pradesh.
For the first time in the state, a municipal body in Sehore, 40 km from Bhopal, is all set to issue water cards to residents to ensure rationing and equitable distribution of the precious liquid.
Sehore gets municipal water once in four days while 80 other towns in the state are better off — they get it once in more than two days.
“We are going to issue water cards to residents soon. Each citizen will get 50 litres of water per day on the basis of this card. At present, Sehore gets only half of the required 48 lakh litres of water per day,” said D.S. Parihar, chief municipal officer of Sehore Municipality.
The situation in Sehore town is getting worse by the day. The Kahri pond, from where the municipality draws water, has only a week’s reserves left.
The authorities have, however, acquired almost all the tube-wells within a 10-kilometre radius of the town. In addition to this, water is being provided through about 50 tube-wells owned by the municipality.
Though the entire state is facing an acute water crisis, towns in Indore, Ujjain, Bhopal and Sagar divisions are the worst affected. Authorities in the industrial town of Dewas, 150 km from Bhopal, have imposed preventive measures under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code around the 122-km-long water supply pipelines to protect them from any deliberate damage. Water is supplied once a week in Dewas and the adjoining town of Ujjain.
With taps running dry in many towns, about 45 cases of violence — including seven murders — related to water feuds have been reported at various police stations in the state. About a fortnight ago, three members of a family were killed over a fight for water in the state capital.
According to officials of the state’s Urban Administration and Development Department, supply depends on the availability of water in certain towns. So, there is no timetable of water supply at such places.
However, the department claimed that 91 local bodies of the state are providing water on alternate days and 31 towns get water once in more than three days.