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There’s water scarcity, but no crisis: Uttarakhand minister

Cabinet minister of Uttarakhand Prakash Pant has accepted that in summers, scarcity of water remains a common problem, but it hasn’t yet become a crisis like in Shimla and Himachal Pradesh

dehradun Updated: Jun 06, 2018 21:56 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Finance minister Prakash Pant listens to problems during a public meeting at BJP office in Dehradun on Wednesday.(HT Photo)

Uttarakhand finance minister Prakash Pant has accepted that in summers, scarcity of water remains a common problem, but it hasn’t yet become a crisis like in Shimla.

On the sidelines of hearing public grievances at BJP headquarters on Wednesday in the state capital, Pant claimed to have already taken necessary action in this regard.

As per a survey by Jal Sansthan, of 39,967 villages, 91 urban local bodies and 859 peri urban areas, a total of 660 villages have been identified where scarcity of water was predicted this summer season.

Working actively on the statistics, he ordered the respective district magistrates to provide hand pump facility in 95 villages and ensure water supply through tankers in other parts. Apart from this, there are nearly 10% of the areas identified that do not have road access.

“Areas where there’s no connectivity, I have asked the DMs to supply water through ponies. However, this arrangement hasn’t yet been put to use as the water is easily supplied through hand pumps and other means,” Pant said.

Water woes had been reported since April when remote areas of Uttarkashi, Nainital, Pithoragarh, Champawat, Bageshwar, Tehri, Chamoli, Almora and Pauri started reporting the discrepancy. The respective district administrations have been asked to actively work to supply water in these areas.

But, the tourism season has been a real cause of concern.

The routine water demand in Nainital district is eight million litre per day which swell up to 12 to 13 million litres during tourism season.

The government had conducted a survey of the natural springs only to find out that nearly 15,000 water sources have dried up in the last decade. Of these, 5,000 have been taken up in the first phase for mapping and rejuvenating the recharge. The government has also targeted to ensure regular drinking water supply to at least 17,000 villages out of 39,967 by 2022.

Boasting of Mudra Yojna, he said in 2016-17, only 58,000 beneficiaries could have advantage from the centre government project which has increased to 1.7 lakh this year.

First Published: Jun 06, 2018 21:56 IST