Contingency plan to tackle water crisis on anvil
KASHMIR RECEIVED 40% LESS RAINS IN 2009
Srinagar, Apr 15: With Jammu and Kashmir witnessing frequent dry spells and less precipitation in the recent past, the government has started work on a contingency plan to tackle any water crisis which had hit many parts of the state last summer.
Officials said the drying up of surface water resources including streams and ponds due to climate change triggered by unabated deforestation was now forcing the government to explore the underground water reservoirs. Though water shortage had gone up to 20 per cent to 30 per cent, the situation was worse in rural and uncovered areas, officials said.
Minister for Public Health and Engineering, Taj Mohuidin told Greater Kashmir that less rainfall in the past was a serious concern.
ďLast year the regions of Jammu and Kashmir respectively received 60 per cent and 40 per cent less rains. The figures themselves speak of the shortage. Now it has to be compensated by exploring the underground water,Ē Taj said.
He said the department had installed latest technology hand-pumps and was digging tube wells at many places and the process was continuing.
A PHE official said though water requirement in Kashmir was more than 110 million gallons per day, the availability was far less.
To tackle the situation especially in peak summer, the Chief Engineer PHE Kashmir, Ghulam Rasool Zargar said the department had ordered for 2000 more hand pumps to be installed in different areas and 30 more tankers. Besides, he said the private transport services would be hired to supply water through steel tankers available with the department.
Though Zargar asserted that the water problem was not so intense in Kashmir, he said more than 1200 hand pumps had gone defunct in different areas as water level had fallen drastically.
The department was working on production wells/deep tube wells which could supply water to large areas.
Zargar blamed deforestation and encroachment of marshy lands as a main reason for water shortage. ďThe slow snow melting under dense forest cover and rain water in marshy lands used to charge our surface resources and underground water table. But deforestation and encroachment is resulting in loss of the facility,Ē he said.
Zargarís Jammu counterpart, Dalip Bakshi, said the water availability had gone down by 30 per cent in the entire region.
The total water requirement in Jammu region was 109.65 millions gallons per day against which the availability is 38 million gallons in Jammu city and 26 other such plain areas and 59.33 million gallons in the rest of the region.
Besides, the fast depletion of the underground water had resulted in loss of more than 35 per cent of the water from 155 tube wells.
ďAt least 25 tube wells have gone dry in the region and canít be tapped as water level had receded in them,Ē Bakshi said.
Officials termed the situation as ďalarming.Ē Citing examples they said in Udhampur two tube-wells were supplying 1.25 lakh gallons of water per hour but now the availability is only 55,000 gallons per hour. Similarly in Trikuith they said the supply of water from the tube wells had gone down to 5000 gallons per hour from 25000 gallons per hour.
Bakshi said the department had now brought latest machines, Direct Ratring Riggs or Drilling Riggs to go deeper into the earth for exploring underground water.
In towns and rural areas the department was focusing on setting up filling stations and would be pressing into service more water tankers. ďThe situation is alarming but the department is exploring the means to tackle it,Ē Bakshi said.
The government is mulling to enforce water preservation law and hike the water tariffs in a bid to ensure its judicious use. Experts have been arguing that the climate change including rising temperature caused due to interference in nature like deforestation were main causes for receding of glaciers and other water resources in J&K.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 15 Apr 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 15 Apr 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 16 Apr 2010 00:00:00 IST
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