TODAY -
Imphal stares at water scarcity
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 27 2009: Apart from losing 50 percent of the water being supplied, the existing distribution network of the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) which above 40 years old has been the main stumbling block in ensuring adequate safe drinking water supply to the ever increasing population of Imphal city.

Conducting an independent inquiry into the problem of recurring shortage of water in Imphal city, The Sangai Express has come to the conclusion that the existing distribution network of PHED is not only outdated but a large quantity of water being supplied is lost in the distribution process as a consequence of dependence on the over 40 years old network.

The Department has also been facing a major difficulty in managing the existing distribution network and the size of the water pipe being used not being able to meet demand of the ever increasing population of the city.

Moreover, due to breaches at various points of the distribution network, as much as 50 percent of the treated water supplied to consumers by the Department is wasted.

In accordance to the 2001 census, the population of the Imphal city was 5,34,499 and the rate of decadal increase in the population of the city has been recorded at 30.02 percent.

However, the Department has been able to supply 80.82 Million Litre of water per day through its 14 different water supply schemes.

In the face of water shortage, the denizens of the city have been shelling out extra money in purchasing potable water.

According to Haobam Santosh of Yaiskul in Imphal, as there is no tap water in his area many people like him have been spending at-least Rs 15 every day in purchasing water.

Talking to The Sangai Express in connection with shortage of water in Imphal city, Principal Secretary (PHED) PC Lawmkunga admitted that existing distribution network which is more than 40 years old is one of the main reasons for the shortage of water being supplied.

The level of water at the sources have also declined causing difficulty in the distribution, he added.

Nonetheless, to solve the problem of water shortage and ensure supply of atleast 70 litres of water per day per head in the city by 2010, the Department has taken up a project that would meet the demand for the next 40 years, the officer disclosed, adding that steps have also been taken up by the Department to ensure supply of 50 litres of water per day per head from next month.

By 2040, the population of the city is expected to torch the figure of 16,94,005.At that time, the demand of water in the city would be 127.45 MLD every day.

Taking note of this, the Department has also taken up a project to generate 45.40 MLD of water every day from Thoubal Dam.

Moreover, Department has also started replacing the existing old pipeline even as efforts are being made to commission the Canchipur Water Supply Phase-II which would be able to generate 6.81 MLD of water daily.

Even as the Public Health Engineering Department has taken up initiative towards setting up water supply schemes in 14 different villages to dissuade the people from cutting down trees, remove stones/boulders and prevent jhumming cultivation at the water sources of Singda Dam as well as at Kangchup and Leimakhong, the Forest Department is also all set to take up a Rs 4 crore project on plantation of trees.

With PHE Minister as chairman, a committee called Environment Conservation of Singda Dam and Leimakhong has also been constituted and a sum of Rs 18 crores has been earmarked under the SPA fund towards improving the existing system of water supply in Greater Imphal area.


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