HYDERABAD: Summer has not yet arrived in right earnest and yet residents of the Secunderabad Cantonment areas are having a hard time with drinking water being supplied just for one hour in four days. Making matters worse, many borewells dug up in different wards decades ago have dried up.
Meera, a resident of Indiramma Nagar, said, “We did not get drinking water for the last four days. After repeated requests, SCB authorities sent a water tanker in the afternoon on Sunday but that was not enough at all.”
Frustrated, she mobilised 200 other residents and staged a dharna in front of the board’s office for four hours on Monday demanding regular and adequate water supply. They submitted a representation to SCB chief executive officer S Balakrishna in this regard.
About 450 borewells were dug up in the cantonment area a decade ago, of which only a few are functioning, says Md Javed, another resident.
It is not Indiramma Nagar alone that is thirsting. Residents of Sastry Nagar, Rasulpura, Chintal Basti, Mahatma Nagar, Doveton and Adarsh Nagar are in the same situation. The SCB requires about 75 lakh gallons of water per day but the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board supplies only half— 38 lakh gallons. To overcome the problem, pipelines were laid in Mahendra Hills and Bolarum in 2009 by spending about Rs 20 crore, said D Rajeshwar, assistant engineer (water supply). “All the works were completed but the water board is yet to commence supply of water,” he explained. The HMWSSB is demanding Rs 17 crore as connection charges to supply water and the SCB is unable to pay it. “This is why we are not getting enough water supply, said Bhanuka Narmada, vice-president of SCB. “Rs 17 crore is a big amount for SCB and its authorities can request the water board to allow payment in instalments but the CEO is not acting,” she said.
According to a contract between the SCB and HMWSSB, SCB is to get a supply of 55 lakh gallons of water everyday. But the HMWSSB itself is constrained as it does not have enough water, says Balakrishna. Yet, he would request the HMWSSB to augment the supply, requisition ten water tankers instead of five as at present and repairer the dried-up borewells, the CEO said.