Light at the end of tunnel?

Light at the end of tunnel?
Highlights

The scarcity of water is the greatest risk. It impacts every facet of our life and also industry. According to an UN estimate, by 2015 about 1.8 billion people live in those countries where water become scarce and industrial usage of water will also raise in the order of 24 per cent of the total water availability by then

The scarcity of water is the greatest risk. It impacts every facet of our life and also industry. According to an UN estimate, by 2015 about 1.8 billion people live in those countries where water become scarce and industrial usage of water will also raise in the order of 24 per cent of the total water availability by then

The dream to make Hyderabad as the choicest destination for manufacturing has made the Telangana government to focus and resolve the water issues on war footing.

As a prelude to it, the government is proposing to build two new reservoirs with an approximate capacity to store 15 TMC of water each. The water is to be drawn from each of the rivers, Godavari and Krishna. This would turn a boon for the city and thus help expanding its industrial base to new heights.

Considered to be the sixth largest city in India, Hyderabad, originally is blessed with a number of natural and man-made water bodies, but gradually a majority were encroached and replaced by concrete structures and some were polluted with domestic and industrial effluents.

To recall, the land-locked city used to get water from Osmansagar (1920) which was built over Esi (tributary of Musi) and Himayatsagar (1927) over Musi. Prior to this, the erstwhile city under Nizam used to meet the water needs from Hussainsagar and Mir Alam Tank. Later since 1965, water is being drawn from River Manjira and Singur followed by Krishna and Godavari rivers. Despite the water woes are seen to be endless.

The growing city, Hyderabad, Telangana’s state capital, require a solid strategy to bailout from the plaguing water troubles. The policy makers at Telangana have drafted proposals for creating more space for storage. Assuming that the power troubles are reseeding with the increased capacities and advanced buying from surplus states, the industry sources feel that now the government will have to focus to redress the water troubles.

Especially, during summer, the water demand will increase by 25 per cent to 500 MGD, which puts pressure on the water supply infrastructure. The existing facilities are sufficient to handle 340 MGD, and additional demand will put the water system to chaos.

The present water levels, officials say, in the five reservoirs - Krishna, Singur, Manjira, Osmansagar and Himayatsagar are in comfortable position with a storage capacity of 39.783 TMC. In addition to the piped water supply, about 27-30 MGD of ground water also is being drawn by the consumers.

The action plan
The government has proposed to construct two huge storage spaces - one near Keshavapuram village of Shamirpet mandal in Ranga Reddy district and the other at Malkapuram village of Choutuppal mandal in Nalgonda district. These reservoirs are expected to bridge the gap between supply and demand, especially during scarce times.

Although, the proposed two reservoirs are facing environment problems as the land indentified belongs to the forest department, the government is going ahead with the preparation of detailed project reports. In the case of Keshavapuram reservoir, the water will be drawn from River Godavari and for Malkapuram reservoir, the water will be taken from River Krishna.

Also, the government is mulling to build barrages at different location across both Godavari and Krishna to make use of its share in full proportions.

As the city is growing with a bursting population of 1.4 crore and more as the migration is seen constant, officials feel there is a challenge for the government to provide drinking water leave alone the industrial use. These reservoirs are expected to cost about $270 mn, which may be augmented with the center’s support, say officials.

Presently, the Water Board is supplying 340 MGD that include Osmansagar (20 MGD), Himayatsagar (15 MGD), Singur (75 MGD), Manjeera (45 MGD), Krishna-Phase-I and Phase-II (180 MGD).

As the reservoirs - Osmansagar and Himayatsagar, are on the verge of drying up and Water Board may install pumping motors in these two reservoirs to pump the available water. Besides, the Board also operates over 1,000 bore wells in the city.

The officials are worried about the forthcoming summer, which may pose more pressure on the government as they see problems arising out of bifurcation of the State. No doubt, the recent projects like establishing water grid, repairs to tank (Kakatiya Mission), etc., are bearing fruits, but they are bent on meeting the demand from the industry as the chief minister is promising them with adequate water supply.

KVVV Charya
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