HYDERABAD: Though the area under its administration is reeling under severe water scarcity, Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) is not making any long-term plans to address the situation. The allocations and decisions made for meeting the situation in the ensuing summer are not aimed at finding a permanent solution to the problem that was bothering from a long time.
SCB decided to drill five new borewells in each ward to overcome water shortage and press into service more water tankers during summer. But the decision, viewed as a temporary measure for summer, is coming under fire from residents.
“SCB might have decided to drill new borewells with good intention. But is there any guarantee that just by drilling borewells water supply will be solved? What surety is there that the new borewells will yield water? Already, groundwater in SCB area is at its low and many borewells have dried up.
Instead of coming up with temporary measures like these, the board should devise a permanent solution to the serious problem,” said M.Amarender Reddy, a resident of Bowenpally.
As of now, residents have to drill borewells up to a depth of 800 to 1,200 ft in the Secunderabad Cantonment area to tap water. Officials themselves have appealed to people not to drill borewells anymore saying that there is already severe stress on ground water.
In this backdrop, drilling of borewells by SCB to address water shortage during summer is not being seen as a viable alternative.
“Instead of focusing on short-term measures, SCB should take help of Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) and procure more water from it to meet the demands of Cantonment residents,” said PSRA Sarma, president of Sancharpuri Resident Welfare Association.
But SCB is already procuring water from HMWSSB and supplying it to residents. While there is a demand for about 52 lakh gallons per day (LGPD) in SCB limits, HMWSSB is supplying 35 LGPD now. SCB pays between `1 and 2 crore every month to HMWS&SB depending upon the volume of water supplied. If SCB is to address the water problem, then it has to buy more water.
But lack of funds and storage facilities is preventing it from procuring water as per the demand. As a consequence, Cantonment residents have been struggling with water shortage.
“Every month SCB pays about `2 crore to HMWS&SB and yet it owes money. Unless we increase our revenue, we cannot bridge the gap between the demand and supply of water in Cantonment.
We are aware of the water problem and trying to address it in all possible ways. We are planning to meet municipal administration minister KT Rao to seek state government’s help in finding a permanent solution to the problem,” said SCB vice-president S Keshava Reddy.