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Industries facing water crisis in Pithampur

WITH THE onset of monsoon, one would have thought that the water crisis is well and truly over, but it is not the case in Pithampur. The data indicates that industries in Pithampur are getting just half of the water supply from MPAKVN and to make good the shortfall they have to pay the tankers. But the underground water is hard water, and its use damages the machinery.
By HT Correspondent | None, Indore
PUBLISHED ON JUL 22, 2006 12:22 AM IST

WITH THE onset of monsoon, one would have thought that the water crisis is well and truly over, but it is not the case in Pithampur. The data indicates that industries in Pithampur are getting just half of the water supply from MPAKVN and to make good the shortfall they have to pay the tankers. But the underground water is hard water, and its use damages the machinery.

“There is plenty of water available with MPAKVN, but there is huge mismanagement in water distribution,” says Pithampur Audyogik Sangathan president Gautam Kothari.

“As much as 6.5 mgd (million gallons per day) water is available from Sanjay Jalashay, but 4 mgd is earmarked for irrigation even though the area under irrigation has come down from 400 hectares to 100 hectares.”

Industries in Sector 1 and 2 are getting 35 lakh litres as against the demand for 50 to 60 lakh litres. Situation is worse in Sector 3 that gets water from Karam Dam. Although 2.5 mgd water is allocated, the average supply is 49 lakh litres as against the demand of nearly 100 lakh litres per day.

There are huge losses at every point. The Sagore pump house station installed by MPAKVN has four pumps but none is working efficiently, say sources. Apart from this, there is problem of leakage from pipelines because of which large volumes of water is wasted.

Then, there is huge wastage in the water supplied for irrigation from Sanjay Jalashay. MPAKVN Executive Engineer D P Patwari, however, denied scarcity in Sector 1 and 2 but accepted that there was shortage in Sector 3.

“Sector 1 and 2 are getting a regular supply of 45 lakh litres daily. There was water scarcity in Sector 3 due to low water level in the dam. The water level in Karam Dam has fallen below MSL. Even though rains have started, there is no water in the catchments.”

“The problem would increase as many textiles and pharmaceutical industries coming up in Special Economic Zone (SEZ) would increase the requirement of water by 2 mgd,” says Kothari.

Already, the plan to supply water to the Apparel Park from Sanjay Jalashay has run into rough weather as the Pithampur Audyogik Sangathan has opposed it tooth and nail. With SEZ set to grow at a rapid pace, the water scarcity is only going to get worse.

“The only permanent solution is to bring water from Narmada,” says Patwari. Once the 80-km pipeline is laid, it would bring in 12 mgd water daily. The project, estimated to cost Rs 150 crore, is at the planning stage and if sanctioned would take a minimum of three years to complete.

A meeting to discuss the water scarcity, to be held between MPSIDC managing director Praveen Garg and Pithampur Audyogik Sangathan representatives here today, was postponed indefinitely.

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