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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Govt sets up committee as Manipur grapples with acute drinking water crisis

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on Tuesday convened an emergency meeting to review the prevailing situation.

Written by Jimmy Leivon | Imphal |
March 23, 2021 10:21:25 pm
recycle water GujaratThe government is planning to reuse 1000 million litres per day of treated water for various purposes(representational image)

State capital Imphal is reeling under an acute shortage of drinking water as reservoirs and other sources are drying up fast.

The supply of tap water to the urban areas, particularly the commercial hub of Imphal West district, has been greatly affected as the water level of Singda dam has dropped drastically over the past few days. Singda is the main reservoir, providing drinking water supply to the commercial hub.

The state Public Health Engineering (PHE) department said the water treatment plants at Singda, Kangchup and Kangchup extension are not being able to generate optimum amounts of treated water due to the depleting water level at the Singda Dam and the drying up of Leimakhong River, the two main sources of potable water for residents. It has already notified the public that the supply of drinking water would be “highly” affected in the days to come.

The water level at Singda reservoir. (Express photo)

Th. Pika Singh, executive engineer, PHE, Maintenance division, said the three treatment plants normally supply around 23.6 million litres of drinking water to the commercial hub on a daily basis. Of this quantum, over 9 million litres of water are supplied through Singda plants and more than 14 million through Leimakhong extensions. “With the Leimakhong river almost drying up, we are rationing just over 6 million litres of drinking water through Singda after a gap of three days,” said Pika Singh.

“We have inspected all the major sources of the treatment plants. The situation is not encouraging. The Leimakhong river, which is feeding the two extension plants, is almost completely dry. It’s the same for Singda dam as well,” the executive engineer said.

Sources at Singda dam reservoir said the water level is depleting at an alarming rate, with just 8.96 meters of the total 34 metres left.

An expert from the Environment and Climate Change department said experiencing a shortage of water at this time of year is normal due to a deficit in pre-monsoon rainfall. However, the severity of the crisis has gradually increased over the last few years.

According to T Brajakumar, deputy director, Environment and Climate Change, Manipur has been experiencing a deficit in pre-monsoon for the past five years. This year too, major catchment areas such as Tamenglong, Churachandpur, Imphal West and East among others saw over 90 per cent pre-monsoon rainfall deficit, he added.

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on Tuesday convened an emergency meeting to review the prevailing situation.

During the meeting, it was decided that a sub-committee, headed by administrative secretary (Water Resources) with PCCF and comprising the administrative secretary (PHED), engineer-in-chief (Water Resources), chief engineer (Water Resources), chief engineer (PHED), director (MAHUD), executive Engineer (PHED-Maintenance Division-II) and DIG Range I, would conduct a survey of areas hit by water scarcity and recommend steps for meeting the shortage.

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