TODAY -

Sluggish project works abetting water crisis
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: March 18, 2023 -



WHEN the Chingkhei Ching water treatment plant was activated and announcement made during the recently held assembly session to ensure regular supply of tap water, people in the densely populated Imphal and Greater Imphal area heaved a sigh of relief that the perennial problem of Shortage of potable water would be a thing of the past.

Subsequent to the successful trial run, the treatment plant was formally inaugurated by the chief minister amid all the government-run water treatment and supply facilities suspending operation due to drying up of rivers which used to feed these schemes.

However, few days after the assembly session ended, supply of tap water ceased in almost all areas in the twin capital districts thereby dashing the publicís hope that the problem of potable water shortage during the lean season would be over.

Whenever there is slight delay in onset of monsoons or decline in rainfall quantity, the state has been facing water crisis with the government authorities citing pending water schemes or faulty pipelines and unhesitatingly putting the blame on deforestations while notably ignoring the fact that such a crisis has been recurring under successive governments.

It is also a common phenomenon to hear ministers and department officials to exhort the citizens to contribute their mite in spreading the message for conservation and preservation of water contrary the peopleís expectation that the government agencies would lead from the front in averting crisis of water shortage through expeditious completion of the pending projects, streamline the distribution system to avoid wastage and repair existing facilities.

In a state like Manipur which generally receives adequate rainfall during the monsoons, it is indigestible that shortage of potable water has been recurring for the past many decades and years after launch of centrally-funded Jal Jeevan Mission as well as the inauguration spree, including multiple water treatment and supply projects, in the formative years of the present government, all aimed at ensuring tap water to the people.

As Manipur is bestowed with sufficient natural resources, including water bodies and rivers, no matter if they are insignificant in size and volume compared to major rivers and lakes in other parts of India, scarcity of potable water as well as for irrigation purpose indicates that the government authorities havenít been able to sustainably utilise the sources of water.

As a consequence, it is feared that the situation will be irreversible and the citizens shall have to bear serious inconveniences, not to mention of the additional expenditure one has to spend to access manís most essential need.

Therefore, it suggested that the government develop more major or minor water supply schemes at suitable locations across the state with special emphasis on rain water harvesting projects.

As access to safe drinking water is the right of the people irrespective of living in the hills or valley or rural or urban, it is but natural that the citizens would expect delivery of safe water supply as responsibility of" the establishment.

Thus, the government should task officials/experts concerned to intervene in tapping rain water resources, water recharging in soil, separating natural water resources channels or rivers from sewage or drainage system, improving water treatment system, avoiding water wastage due to leakages in supply, and in maintaining efficient distribution system, instead of consistently accusing the previous regime and deforestation for the chronic problem.



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