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Tirupati: Coronavirus outbreak, Groundwater exploitation comes to halt

Tirupati: Coronavirus outbreak, Groundwater exploitation comes to halt
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Ground water
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Hotels, lodges, hostels stop bulk water purchase due to lockdown 300 water tanker owners lose their business during last two weeks

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Tirupati: Amidst corona virus outbreak, groundwater exploitation has drastically come down in temple city of Tirupati temporarily during the last two weeks of lockdown period. It may be noted that with the Coronavirus spread fear all the star and medium hotels, rest houses and lodges as well as corporate colleges and hostels had been closed down for the last two weeks in Tirupati. In this situation, hotels, lodges and hostels have stopped purchasing bulk water for daily use through private tankers.

Around 600 hotels, lodges and college hostels are located in the city and all of these order water tankers every day. Pilgrims hospitality is the major employment or business in Tirupati. After the closure of Lord Venkateswara temple for devotees in Tirumala, all the commercial activities have come to a grinding halt.

Hence all the hotel and lodge owners had stopped buying water from private tanker traders. It has showed a big impact on the groundwater exploitation in Tirupati city. It may be recalled that all around Tirupati alongside its outskirts, many private land owners have dug borewells to sell water either directly through their own tankers or through traders who own such tankers.

An estimate tells us that there are more than 50 such huge water supply points around the city. At present not a single borewell is operable here.

April in fact is the peak groundwater exploitation period. It is not just the beginning of the summer season but also the season for pilgrim flow. At present, hardly 20% of water tankers are in operation and that too for emergency purposes only.

Around 300 mini water tankers are seen lying idle in the parking lots in the outskirts. One could also spot bigger water tankers owned by the hotels parked in front of the hotels. In addition, municipal authorities have also stopped running water tankers to the colonies to avoid crowding against the clamp down laws. They have improved water supply through pipes to the consumers.

When The Hans India spoke to MCT engineer B Chandrashekar on the impact on the groundwater levels, he said there was every chance of the groundwater getting stabilized in the first place because of lack of exploitation. These tankers had been making at least 600 trips a day apart from those owned by the hotels.

Residents of the city are only too happy at the temporary closure of the business. Social activist and NGO president G Bhanu said that people were facing many difficulties by lockdown, but there was a silver lining to it as far as groundwater exploitation coming to an end.

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