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Early knock of summer of discontent

A SUMMER of discontent has started appearing at beginning of March month as at least forty percent of the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) ground water sources are about to go dry following depletion in water table. The evaporation would also create trouble in water supply from Upper Lake and Kolar Reservoirs.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2006 13:53 IST

A SUMMER of discontent has started appearing at beginning of March month as at least forty percent of the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) ground water sources are about to go dry following depletion in water table. The evaporation would also create trouble in water supply from Upper Lake and Kolar Reservoirs.

During the past one month, the ground water sources have either dried up or water availability is reduced. The BMC supplies over five million gallons per day (mgd) through ground water sources, which includes about 550 tube-wells and about 1200 hand-pumps.

According to officials, the supply through tankers has been started in the areas dependent on the ground water. The trips of tankers in some localities like Indrapuri, Gandhi Nagar, Karond, Bhanpur, Khanugaon have already increased.

Besides, Ambedkar Nagar, Saibaba Nagar, Shahpura Jhuggi Basti, Ishwar Nagar, Badwai, Abbas Nagar, Sanjay Nagar, Narialkheda etc are also dependent on the tanker supply. Moreover, the residents in areas totally dependent on the private tube-wells like Chuna Bhatti, Hoshangabad Road, Raisen Road and some other areas have already started facing water crisis.

In case of delayed rains, the reservoirs like the Upper Lake and Kolar Dam, which are the City’s main sources of water, would also create trouble for the BMC officials.

On Wednesday, the water level of Kolar Dam was recorded at 441.20 meters. At this level, about 40 million cubic meter (MCM) water is stored.

The officials said that the water is sufficient till July this year. The BMC lifts about 5.06 MCM water every month from Kolar Dam. There would be about 8 MCM evaporation losses during next five months. So, the delayed rains would be problematic for the BMC.

The level of Upper Lake was recorded at 1659 feet on Wednesday. At this level, 1560 million cubic feet (mcft) water is stored. Out of this, quantity of 550 mcft is dead storage. So, about 1000 mcft would be available for the supply. Out of this quantity around 20 percent is likely to be lost through evaporation.

When contacted, a senior official of BMC’s Water Works Department said that the depleting ground water is a major concern at present. He, however, said that the water supply in such areas is being made through the tankers so there is no scarcity of water.

On the other hand, Mayor Sunil Sood has urged the citizens that they should use water economically during the summer.


Rooftop water harvesting neglected
Bhopal Municipal Corporation has miserably failed to enforce rooftop water harvesting (rainwater harvesting) rules in residential colonies. Almost all the colonies developed during past one decade are using the ground water neglecting the rooftop water harvesting.

According to rules, it is necessary to install rooftop rainwater harvesting for the construction of a house on a plot of 240 square meters. Besides, the buildings housing the state government establishments also blatantly neglect the water harvesting that is the most effective way of recharging groundwater.

More than 95 percent of newly developed areas are using the ground water resulting in permanent decrease in ground water. Indore is leading as far as implementation of rooftop rainwater harvesting is concerned. Surprisingly, none of the government agency deals with the rooftop rainwater harvesting.

First Published: Mar 09, 2006 13:53 IST