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Water every two days in Gwalior

Gwalior, the erstwhile seat of the Scindias, has a lot to worry about these days. The main source of water to the city is the Madhavrao Scindia Tighra Reservoir. With only 716.30 feet of water left in the reservior it will cater to the city's needs only till September 15, 2003.If the monsoons fail the way they did last year, Gwalior is headed for a major trouble.

india Updated: Jun 19, 2003 17:10 IST

The historic city of Gwalior is suffering from acute drinking water crisis. Drinking water is being supplied in many parts on alternate day as of today but compared to other cities in Madhya Pradesh, the situation is not very alarming.

A recent report on the water situation issued by the Gwalior Municipal Corporation (GMC) indicates the severity of the problem. The principal source of water, the Madhavrao Scindia Tighra Reservoir has only 716.30 feet of water left. This amounts to about 30 percent of the capacity and would last till September 15, 2003.

At present three million gallons per day (MGD) of water is being supplied to Gwalior, Morar and Lashkar (Greater Gwalior) on alternate days. Though more than 700 tube wells and 1,100 hand pumps supplement the drinking water supply, with the successive failure of monsoon in the state, the groundwater has dipped considerably, rendering a large number of hand pumps and tube wells non functional. As an alternative arrangement the Municipal Corporation has installed electric motors on 59 wells which have dried up.

The worst affected areas are Bahodapur and Gudiguda ka Naka. In order to maintain constant drinking water supply, over 230 tube wells and an equal number of hand pumps were dug late last year and this year. The GMC has sanctioned Rs 2 lakh for each ward in the financial year 2002-03. According to the GMC officials more than 30 kilometres of new pipelines have been laid to facilitate water supply, essentially in the slum areas. In the last financial year the municipal corporation installed motor pumps in Hem Singh Ki Parade, Ashok Vihar Colony andSanjay Nagar through the Central Groundwater Board.

According to a rough estimate the consumption of the water in the city is 99 litres per capita per day.

As of today there isno talk of privatising drinking water supply. The water treatment plant is under the municipal corporation. The Gwalior water works was established in 1930 and initial capacity of storage of water was 3.6 mgd. In 1930 the population of Gwalior was just 50,000. The Tighra Reservoir has ample capacity but the river on which it is constructed is unable to give water for future demands. Recharge of water is a must but for which little efforts are being made at the government's level.

The state government and local administration launched a programme for water conservation and harvesting but the residents appear to be quite indifferent resulting in some water scarcity.

Gwalior is one of the fastest developing cities of Madhya Pradesh and a mega counter-magnet capital city project is being developed to shift the burden off Delhi. To cope with such a situation, if efforts are not made in right earnest the city would have to face severe crisis in the years to come.

Keshav Pandey

First Published: Jun 19, 2003 17:10 IST