The residents and civic agencies ignored the recent water crisis and consumed 8 million gallons per day (MGD) more water than the normal requirement on Thursday as the city played Holi with fun and frolic.
The city’s requirement is 70 MGD water and 78 MGD was supplied on Thursday, though all corporate firms and schools were shut.
In the last week of February, Gurgaon was hit by a water crisis after protesters demanding reservation for Jats in education and jobs damaged parts of Gurgaon water channel in Jhajhar district. The carrying capacity of both Gurgaon and NCR water channels -- the sources of raw water supply to the city -- was also reduced because of the silt and grass. The residents, worried about the recurrence of such a situation, had vowed to save water.
On Thursday, taps were left open for hours as residents at every locality splashed buckets of coloured-water. Children carelessly threw hundreds of water balloons on passersby.
“Holi comes once a year and we are just celebrating the festival and having fun,” Ashwin Sharma, who was dripping in pink water, said. However, Sharma ignored the question about the water crisis and continued the celebration.
“You cannot expect the people to not use water and just play with dry colours. We remember the days when the city was in a water crisis but the situation has changed,” Priya Rai said while throwing water balloons at friends.
A small percentage of residents, however, tried to minimise the use of water by playing with dry colours and flowers.
“A group of youths kept their taps open, splashing water at one another from 10am. It is good to celebrate and have fun but not at the cost of nature,” Shreyasi Shingatgeri of south city, said
An official of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) said more water was supplied keeping the celebrations in mind.
“We generally supply 70 MGD water in summer and 60 MGD in winter. With Holi celebrations, the city received 78 MGD water today (Thursday). The consumption is definitely more considering that all industries, offices and educational institutes are shut,” Subhash Piplani, sub-divisional officer of the Huda, said.
Noting the carelessness of residents, environmentalists said it is high time the city starts saving water round the year. They said people could have played a water-less Holi.
“The people played Holi with a lot of water, which is visible from the figures of water supplied by the Huda. The city needs to take stringent steps to save water or the future is bleak. One should also note that scarcity will not happen by a day’s consumption and even now we can solve the crisis by systematically using the natural resource,” Chetan Agarwal, an environmental analyst, said.