Reeling under an acute drinking water shortage and increasing pilferage of water resources, the Ujjain district administration on Tuesday said that water at two major dams in the district would be reserved for drinking and pilferers would face imprisonment and heavily penalized.
Faced with a monsoon deficit, authorities have decided to reserve depleting water sources from Gambhir and Kshipra dams for drinking only.
Anyone caught stealing water from these sources either for irrigation or industrial purposes, official said would face two years imprisonment or a fine of Rs 2000 fine or both.
"In Gambhir dam, which is the major water source to Ujjain, the water level had recently dropped to 350 MCFT. The total capacity of the dam is 2250 MCFT," district collector Kavindra Kiyawat told HT.
Ujjain, which has been facing a monsoon deficit, at present, only has 394 million cubic feet (MCFT) water at the two dams, which is just about adequate to quench thirst of Ujjain and its neighbouring areas for next 96 days.
The district till date has only received 13 inches of rainfall, which 23 inch less than average, the district collector said.
"But thanks to some showers that arrived couple of days back, the water level in the dam has increased up to 394 MCFT."
According to Kiyaway, Ujjian and its neighbouring areas need six MCFT of drinking water every day. "To stretch the reserve sources, we have decided to supply water to households on alternate days."
In a bid to stop pilferage drinking water, district administration is encouraging farmers to operate tube wells by providing power connection to them.
"The water will not be used for either irrigation or industrial purposes and if anybody is found guilty of stealing water using pumps, he/she will face stern action," said Kiyawat.
"To avoid water theft in Gambhir river region, the electricity board will provide power connection to only those farmers who have a tube well in the agriculture field."
The revenue department and Ujjain municipal corporation (UMC) have been deploy guards at the dams to stop water theft, the district collector said.