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Dabris to the rescue in Ujjain

Like most of Madhya Pradesh, Ujjain, too, has been facing a severe water crisis. But the situation is much better this year. Along with advocating ways of conserving water, the authorities have found an innovative method to augment water, by undertaking a project to built 50,000 dabris (pits for storing water) in the fields.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2003 19:09 IST

Next year in early May the Kumbh Mela is scheduled to commence in Ujjain. And when upwards of two crore people land there, civic amenities will be stretched. The two areas that will come into sharp focus are water and electricity.

Sadly the Indian summer throws up a severe challenge to its cities and towns to cope with water shortages. The going is bound to be really tough. We look at how Ujjain faces its summer woes this time to make estimates about next year.

Water situation in Ujjain could be said to be satisfactory this summer in comparison to the acute crisis the city witnessed last year. However, the scenario is grim in rural areas of the district.

The dam on the Gambhir river is the main source of water supply to the supply. The dam, which has a storage capacity of 2,250 mcft filled up to 1,825 mcft during the last monsoons. Its level on the date is around 525 mcft. People have been getting water once in two days for an hour.

May was bearable as the municipal corporation initiated the curtailment of supplies from October. However, the other sources including the river Kshipra and some ponds have been completely dried up.

Although the tube wells and wells have helped ease out much of the city's needs, the requirements still are far from being satisfactory due to dipping groundwater levels. KK Vyas, executive engineer of the PHE, estimates a balance of some 325 mcft water in river Gambhir when the rains begin.

On the other hand, people are facing more hardships at other places in the district. Water supply to Khachrod and in Barnagar in particular, is so erratic that the residents have to spend three-four hours daily to fetch water.

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