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Friday, April 6, 2012

Kumaon faces acute water shortage

Nainital, April 5
Several parts of the hilly terrain in Kumaon are reeling under water crisis. A large number of water schemes and handpumps lying dysfunctional have added to the woes of the common people, particularly those residing in the rural areas.
The worst affected districts with regard to water scarcity are Almora, Bageshwar and Pithoragarh.
According to sources areas like Paparseli, Kasar Devi, Khatyadi, Dhaula Devi, Danya, Bhainsiyacheena, Takula, Salt, Dwarahat and Bhikiyasain are facing major problems on account of the handpumps lying dysfunctional. People say that that there are around 200 handpumps in these areas that are not functioning and water continues to be a mirage for the people residing in such villages. The women in these villages are having a tough time fetching water from the natural sources where, too, the flow is reducing as the summers set in.
Officials of the Jal Sansthan say that efforts are on to get the handpumps repaired and the task would be completed soon. The district authorities had recently chalked out a blueprint to deal with the water scarcity in the district. As per the plan, arrangements are being put in place to supply water by tankers and even mules.
In case of Bageshwar, the worst affected areas continue to be Bangchyuri and Jethai villages. Reports appearing in the local media suggest that the people are being compelled to fetch drinking water from as far as 2.5 kilometres.
The villagers say that the Painsiya-Jethai-Bangchyuri water scheme has been lying shut for more than a year. The villagers had recently met the District Magistrate on the issue seeking its revival. At the same time they have also demanded an early completion of the Sary-Jethai scheme the proposal for which has been submitted under the Sextor Wide Area Approach (SWAP) scheme.
The people say that they have to make a beeline at the water sources right from four in the morning. They have pointed that they are unable to provide enough water to the domestic animals which is causing a lot of problems.
In Pithoragarh district, the district administration has set up a control room to address the water woes. New proposals have been sent to the state administration for upgrading the old schemes and starting new ones to meet the water requirements of the district.

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