Summer heat, drinking water crisis hit Ongole city

OMC providing water to 3.01L people through 48.2K tap connections
Representative Image
Representative Image

ONGOLE : Despite taking concrete measures, many colonies and sub-urban localities falling under the Ongole Municipal Corporation (OMC) are facing serious drinking water crisis with the increasing daytime temperatures in recent days.

According to the officials, the OMC has been providing water to 3.01 lakh residents through 48,200 tap connections. It is reported that the civic body has been maintaining around 27.1-km long main water supply pipelines with 325 km long distributary pipelines dependent on two summer storage tanks. However, 60 km long distributary pipelines are damaged due to erosion causing hindrance to the water distribution across the OMC limits.

As per the OMC records, the civic body is expanded in around 132.45 sq.km and in it, as low as 30 km area is having potable water resources and the remaining area has groundwater contaminated with high concentrations of salts and are not suitable for drinking purposes. Due to this reason, most of the residents are highly dependent on municipal water.

Water scarcity has limited the water supply to only once a week through taps and tankers. Recently, the residents of Koppolu area staged a dharna on the Ongole-Koppolu-Kothapatnam main road with empty vessels demanding immediate drinking water supplies to their area. Similarly, the Srinivasa Colony, Srinagar Colony and Govinda Nagar residents also staged a protest with empty pots on the Kurnool-Ongole Main road a few days back demanding immediate restoration of water supplies to their colonies.

Apart of the above localities, Gandhi Nagar, Vaddivani Kunta, NGO Colony, Alluri Sitaramaraju Colony, Annavarappadu Colony, Kesavaraju Kunta etc., areas are also facing serious drinking water scarcity due to the damaged pipeline systems and mismanagement of the drinking water supply schedules of the OMC authorities.

Recently, the OMC authorities called for tenders to replace the damaged pipelines to certain areas and the works are going on. In some cases, the people of Gandhi Road, Pappula Bazar, Power office opposite road areas, Addanki Bus stand area, Kondaiah bunk area, Market area and Kothapatnam bus stand area complained that drainage water is seeping into the damaged water pipelines. They demanded immediate replacement of the damaged pipelines. Very recently, the OMC authorities have laid a new PVC water pipeline spanning around 1 km to curtail the drain water contamination.

OMC Commissioner M Jaswanth Rao also conducted an exclusive meeting with all the engineering and water works departments officials and directed them to draw an action plan to resolve all water supply related complaints in the city on a priority basis. “Due to the scorching summer temperatures, water resources are drying up and in view of the water scarcity situation in the OMC limits, we are implementing our summer action plan. The two summer storage tanks are being supplied with water from Nagarjuna Sagar from Ramatheertham balancing reservoir and we are going to complete the internal water supply pipeline laying works very soon and restore drinking water supplies to all those respective residential areas within two to three days time. We are going to regulate the water supplies under all seven zones limits through the concerned overhead water tanks as early as possible,” OMC Municipal Engineer Sk Rahmthullah Johnny told TNIE.

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