HYDERABAD: As the country worries over the recently released NITI Aayog report which predicts that 21 cities including Hyderabad might run out of groundwater by 2020, residents of Alkapur township in Manikonda are afraid that this nightmare might come true earlier than expected.
On Saturday, hundreds of residents of this water-deprived township staged a protest, holding placards “Give us water”, outside the Division 18 office of the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) in Manikonda, demanding supply of water to their households.
Manoj Kumar, Executive Committee member of the Alkapur Residents Welfare Association, said, “We will not stop our protest till the government lays water distribution network which covers our township and starts supplying piped drinking water. Every month we are forced to shell out around Rs 3,000 for water from private suppliers and the water availability is dwindling. We are forced to come onto the roads and protest.”
A senior official of the HMWS&SB told Express, “Earlier plan was made at a cost of around Rs 756 crores to cover grama kantams in 14 mandals inside Outer Ring Road (ORR) limits which has been completed. At that time there were not as many colonies. With the unprecedented rise in colonies within ORR we have drawn up new plan of Rs 586 crore to extend water supply to uncovered areas. Of this Rs 96 crore is exclusively for covering 110 colonies in Rajendranagar mandal, which will cover Alkapur township as well. It is awaiting government approval.”
The township has been existence for more than last 15 years but the residents here never received piped water supply from the government, forcing people to rely on groundwater - either from bore wells owned by individuals or from private water tanker suppliers.
While the lack of piped water supply was always a cause of worry, over last couple of years the township has seen a huge inflow of people residing in the area due to its close proximity to the IT corridor, making the state of affairs acute. With poor rainfalls last year and monsoon proving a dud, many bore wells in the area have gone dry.