Bihar: Half of Muzaffarpur district faces acute water crisis
Almost half of the population of Muzaffarpur is facing acute water crisis as the water level in the district has gone down by 25 to 30 feet from the normal level.
The people from eight out of the total 17 blocks have to roam from one water source to another in search of water as even hand pumps in the area have gone dry or draw water with a lot of difficulty.
The condition is worse in areas situated along the rivers passing through the district, especially Burhi Gandak. Even under the limits of Muzaffarpur Municipal Corporation, five to six wards are reeling under acute water shortage.
Sarita Devi (45) of a village under the Sakra block in eastern part of the district says the condition is same with the start of summer every year. “We have become used to of this situation for the last 10 years. We have approached officials in the block and the district, to no avail,” she says.
Surendra Kumar (52) of Muraul block says it gets worse in peak summer. “It is just the start of the April. You can imagine the situation we have to face in May and June before the onset of monsoon,” he says, adding that it was surprising since the region saw plenty of rainfall, much above normal, last season.
“Hand pumps have been running dry since mid-March,” he says.
David Dwivedi, executive engineer of public health and engineering department (PHED), agrees the problem is serious. “We did a survey in mid-March and found that the water level has dipped by 25 to 30 feet in eight blocks of the district. It will go down further to 40 feet. We have alerted officials from our department at the block level to start a survey of hand pumps, which have gone dry. They have been asked to set up a team, which will visit door to door to carry out repairing works of such pumps,” he said.