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Shrinking Ganga Kanpureans a nightmare

india Updated: Apr 28, 2010 11:37 IST
Hindustan Times
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A dried upstream and 300 cusec of water left in Ganga is giving people, occupied with meeting city's demand for water, scare of a lifetime. Officials looking for alternatives haven't confronted a problem like this one before. Their estimate is the water crisis haunting the people is bound to worsen in next two days.

The Bhaironghat pumping that draws water from river and supplies it to half of the city is running at half of the capacity. The steep fall in water level has stalled the much needed dredging operations.

"A fall of an inch in water level spells big trouble for us in bridging the demand and supply gap. The fall in level this time is steadier and if the water doesn't come from upstream it will keep going down," said NM Chowdhary, executive engineer at Bhaironghat pumping station.

Things get critical with the upstream and the reservoir at the Ganga Barrage dried up in last two days. Officials who didn't wish to be named said the crisis emerged as water wasn't released from Narora dam in long.

"No reason has been given out on the no-water release from Narora dam. We have no clue," said an official of Irrigation department, which coordinates with Narora dam administration.

The new trouble gains significance when the city is being supplied 200 MLD less water against the demand of 550 MLD. The electricity crisis is keeping the tube-well-- second major source of water supply-- on a halt and sinking water level has only compounded the scenario.

The Kanpur Jal Sansthan's top engineers on Monday sent a letter to general manager asking for widening and deepening of water channel created last year. "It could prevent a full on water crisis momentarily. It will allow the dredgers work close to efficiency level," said the letter.

The dredgers, according to sources, are sucking more sand than the water from the river whose level was recorded at 357.4 inches on Monday. It was two inches less to the level notified on Sunday evening.