August 1, 2016 2:15:42 am
LATUR city, which was staring at another year of drinking water crisis until Friday, has a reason to finally cheer as heavy rain in the last 24 hours has filled two key barrages to their optimum capacity.
Significantly, Manjara river, the lifeline of Latur city that was bone dry until last week, is now flowing with full force, though below the danger level.
The rain started around 5 pm on Saturday. Initially, it drizzled but heavy rain began to lash the entire district around 9.30 pm. Up to 110 mm rainfall was recorded over the next four hours. At some places, it was up to 70 mm rain. Following the heavy rain, key Sai and Nagzari barrages had copious amount of water by around 5 am Sunday when the rain finally subsided. Both the barrages have a capacity of storing 7 TMC water.
“You can say that Latur’s water problem is almost over,” Latur Municipal Commissioner Sudhakar Telang told The Indian Express.
He said since both the barrages had filled up, they were in a position to now supply tap water to Latur city.
“The tap water supply was stopped in February. Before that Latur city used to get water after every 15 days. Now, the pumping of water from the two barrages into our filteration tanks have already started. Therefore, we will be in a position to provide tap water to Latur city in at least next two days,” he said.
Civic officials said every locality would started getting water once in 15 days. “This has been the practice all along and Latur residents are used to it. We supply more than two hours of water, which is sufficient to last for next 15 days as people store water in smaller tanks, utensils and other storage facilities,” said Telang.
Though the two barrages have filled up and Manjara river has enough water, the Manjara dam, which caters to the drinking water needs of Latur city, still remains dry. The dam has a capacity of 9 TMC of water. “This is because the dam’s major portion is located in Beed district and the rainfall there has been poor. The dam hardly has any water. But we expect the dam too will have some amount of water in coming days,” Telang said.
He said the “water train” from Miraj, which completed 101st run, would not be needed. “We will have to take decision in a couple of days regarding the stoppage of the train service,” he said. The train began its journey on April 12 and has till now provided more than 2,345 lakh litres of water.
R K Sharma, Senior Divisional Manager (Operations), Solapur Division, Central Railway, said they would provide the train service as along as Latur needed it. “We will do as per Latur’s requirement,” he said.
Mahadev Gomare of the Art of Living Foundation, which had started a citizens’ initiative of desilting the Manjara river, said, “The stretch in Manjara where we undertook the desilting work has huge amount of water as of now. This will help recharge undergound water table which in turn will help numerous recharge well and borewells in three-to four km area,” he said, adding, “The 18-km stretch has two jackwells. From there too, the civic body can lift water for supply to the city.”
Gomare said they had carried out massive desilting work with the help of locals at three places in the district.
“At all these places, the rain on the last 24 hours has completely changed the scenario,” he said.
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