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Water woes deepen with dry handpumps

With the early onset of blistering summers, lack of preparedness by Jal Sansthan to tackle water crises has been exposed. Almost 50 per cent of the handpumps installed by Jal Sansthan to counter shortage of potable water are out of order. Thus, citizens are left with no option but to bear the brunt of soaring mercury and water scarcity.

The data provided by Jal Sansthan revealed that out of total water demand of 600 mld, about 42.5 per cent (255 mld) is met by surface water sources and 57.5 per cent is met by underground water extracted through tubewells and handpumps. The city has more than 11,000 handpumps in various localities and, according to available data, 2,252 of them are out-of-order and need reboring. Similarly, more than 3,000 handpumps are out-of-order due to various technical snags and need to be repaired at the earliest to cater to the needs of residents facing acute shortage of water.

Most parts of the city, viz Juhi, Yashoda Nagar, Hanspuram, Machharia, Sujanpur, Shyam Nagar, Chakeri, Gandhi Gram, Mangala Vihar, Jajmau, Dadanagar Barra, World Bank Colony Naubasta, Khadepur etc, are a mute witness to water woes.

The groundwater is a major source of potable water which is extracted through deep boring and handpumps. Since handpumps are easy to install, Jal Sansthan had installed several handpumps in each locality to meet the demand. But, fifty per cent of them are out of order. The urban local body officials, however, had been asked to install new handpumps and ensure repair of all out-of-order handpumps at the earliest.

It is being estimated there are over 250 tubewells in Kanpur, out of which 135 are operated by Jal Sansthan and the rest-- 115-- are run by government institutions, industrial units, educational institution and private users spread all over the city. Moreover, the density of the well is higher on the outskirts where surface waster is not available.

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