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Water everywhere- But dry taps in M'lore!

By Team Mangalorean, Mangalore

MANGALORE, June 8, 2009: It is raining cats and dogs in Mangalore, and the India Meteorology Department has already forecast more rains in next one week, but paradoxically Mangaloreans are still facing dry taps in many parts of the city.  Their cries for water is now muffled but one can see water tankers are moving in the city in regular intervals and more frequently then ever.
The Mangalore City Corporation officials who are monitoring the situation have agreed to the fact and say we have made arrangement for them to get water through tankers. But why no tap water? Is it not a deprivation?  Yes it surely is but there are several bottlenecks in the supply network that does not allow all the people to get water in their taps. Some of the areas are within the core city area, they include Mallikatta, Arya Samaj Road, Vaz lane, Shivabag, lower Bendoor, Valencia, Jeppu, Mahakali Padpu and parts of Kankanady.
In North Mangalore also there are few areas where taps have been going dry in regular intervals with unfailing frequency. Ashoknagar, Kodical and Dambel are some of the areas, the residents here have given up hoping for getting water through their taps and are depending on the water dealers in the city.
Prabhakar Shenoy in Urva says "I have built a house but there is no water; I have to buy water from the tankers paying Rs. 800 per tanker every week. My house has a Corporation water link but the officials in Mangalore City Corporation say that my line was getting water but for the last eight months not even a drop has trickled from the taps."
The MCC had executed a water distribution system at a cost of Rs. 14 crores in 1998 and all these areas come under this scheme. Even the Corporation engineers are not in a position to tell why some areas are going out of water.
Mayor Mr. Shankar Bhat appears to be raking his mind about the problem. He has been visiting places where there is water shortage along with an army of engineers, but he also has not found the answers for the water woos of the people.
The engineers have told him that all these areas are getting multi storey buildings in large numbers and they have large sumps and overhead tanks. Their appetite for water was very great and the water pipeline network was being drained by the multi storey buildings.
The tanker business has been fully managed by the private parties and in dire needs they will supply water at exorbitant costs which cannot be a permanent solution to the water problems of the people. There are at least 15 known water suppliers in the city that have their own fleet of tankers. The tanker owners say that the most of the water demands come from elevated places and one or two low lying areas. The demand drops between June and September to a bare minimum but there is enough demand for all the tanker companies to run smoothly even in the rainy season.
The district administration however has suggested to Mangalore City Corporation to make rain water harvesting compulsory in Mangalore. Following which the Corporation has made it a condition in the building licence for every newly built house should have a water harvesting system. But the MCC has not put in place a system to check if its license conditions were being implemented or not. However the PWD buildings in Mangalore have already started rain water harvesting which is somewhat a beginning.

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