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Private water suppliers make hay as city reels under crisis

The prolonged water crisis has left residents with no other option but to depend on private water suppliers.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2012 00:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

The prolonged water crisis has left residents with no other option but to depend on private water suppliers.

Residents of Millennium City have been dealing with inadequate water supply since early May. The shortage in supply, however, has led to a boom in business for suppliers who sell groundwater illegally.

Against the usual rate of up to Rs 1,000 for a tanker of water, prices have shot up by nearly Rs 500. A tanker is now available for Rs 1200-Rs 1,500, especially in parched localities such as DLF City, Sushant Lok, Palam Vihar, Ardee City and several Huda sectors.

According to residents, mafia controls the supply of water in the city and has no fear of law.

"Suppliers have been charging Rs 300 extra. Earlier, we would pay Rs 1,200 for 5,000 litres. Now, we pay Rs 1,500. We have no other option but pay the demanded price," said Naresh Kantur, a resident of DLF Phase 2.

"For an overhead tank, on an average, we charge more than Rs 1,200 normally. If the tank is underground, charges vary depending on the location — front or the backyard," said Pawan Kumar, a supplier who has set up a borewell close to Wazirabad.

These private suppliers are based in and around villages where they draw groundwater directly and unauthorisedly through submersible pumps. This is despite strict instructions by the deputy commissioner to shut down all illegal submersible pumps.

"Contact numbers of such suppliers are available everywhere. Officials can easily call, locate their supply station and take action. What are they waiting for? The negligence has been a boon for such illegal activity," said SD Bharadwaj, a resident of Sector 56.

The administration, however, claims they have been doing the needful.

Amid the ongoing water crisis, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) recently directed all private swimming pool operators to shut their facility Several gated communities, known for round-the-clock water and power supply, were forced to ration water distribution to 4 hours daily from the earlier 24 hour service. The affected swimming pools are the ones being run in the condominiums as well as in individual houses. There are nearly 150 such pools in the city. The public swimming pools being run in hotels and clubs, however, have been spared of the embargo.

With the water crisis worsening, residents are urging the authorities to take measures to check wastage of water.

To address the issue, Huda recently announced to improve supply in the Gurgaon water canal, which supplies water from the western Yamuna canal to Gurgaon.

Against the total demand of 90 mgd (million gallons per day), the HUDA has been able to supply only 43 mgd from its basai-based treatment plant. A portion of the deficit is met by groundwater extraction by developers and water sold in tankers illegally.

First Published: Jun 18, 2012 00:42 IST