335 water supply schemes on verge of drying up in rain-deficit Himachal
The inordinate delay in rains has hit the drinking water supply schemes across the state with 335 of them on the verge of drying up. The dry spell has impacted the sowing of rabi crops, too.
There was scarcity of rainfall in October as only 0.4 mm precipitation was recorded, which was 99% less than the normal rainfall. Of the 12 districts, nine were rain deficit as they received zero actual rainfall, while light snowfall and rainfall were recorded in Lahaul-Spiti, Chamba and Kullu districts. Chamba and Kullu were 99% rain-deficit with 0.3mm of actual rainfall each, while Lahaul-Spiti reported 95% less rainfall as it received 1.5 cm of rain.
Last year, Himachal Pradesh got 18% less rainfall than normal, while in 2018 it got 73% less rainfall than normal and in 2017, the state got 99% less rainfall than normal.
The water level at the perennial sources has reduced from 25% to 75%, deepening the water crisis.
The jal shakti department reviewed the water supply situation in the state two days ago. Minister Mahender Singh Thakur directed the department to ensure measures to meet water scarcity in the rural areas, particularly the rain-fed areas, particularly in Hamirpur zone.
State meteorological department director Manmohan Singh said that there were only two rainfall and snowfall spells during the month on October 29 and 31.
“On October 29, light rainfall was witnessed in Manali and Kothi, while traces of snowfall were recorded in Keylong. On October 31, light snowfall occurred in Keylong, while light rainfall occurred in Manali and Chamba. On October 22, snowfall occurred on the Kinner Kailash mountain range,” he said.
Water committees set up in panchayats
Rural drinking water and sanitation committees are being constituted in all gram panchayats of the state, according to the guidelines of the Jal Jeevan Mission.
A total of 47 laboratories have been set up to ensure the availability of clean drinking water in the state and it will also be ensured that all district-level laboratories are accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Laboratories (NABL), said chief secretary Anil Kumar Khachi.
He said by April, 9.21 lakh households had been provided drinking water connections and by March 2021, 2.66 lakh more households will be provided tap water of which 1,81 lakh households have already been given water connections. He said all houses in Kandaghat, Pooh, Lahaul and Spiti development blocks, 311 panchayats and 5,081 villages of the state have been provided with tap water.
He said that Rs 243 crore has been received from the Centre under the Jal Jeevan Mission this year.