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Water politics may leave citizens thirsty

Hardened postures of the state government and the Congress-ruled Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation may aggravate water scarcity here soon. While the BJP-ruled state government asked the corporation to either pay up Rs 14 crore water arrears or face scant water supply, the AMC has retorted saying water crisis in Ahmedabad was the making of the state government itself.

Reacting to the government's posture, Mayor Himmatsinh Patel said that BJP has stooped to such a level that it is now playing' water politics'. Accusing the government of 'step-motherly' treatment compared to other corporations, Patel said that entire cost of Raska weir project was borne by the AMC itself.

He alleged that the government, without taking the AMC into confidence removed octroi on petrol, diesel and telecommunications equipment entailing a loss of Rs 40 crore to the corporation.

Currently, the city is fulfilling its water needs, partly from Kadana Dam through Raska weir pump house, getting four crore gallons per day, while another 6.5 crore gallons comes from 406 bore-wells. But in the past one month, water supplied from Kadana Dam was fluctuating due to less water released and most of the water was being used by farmers through the Shedi canal.

"The past one month saw steep fluctuations when water supply at Raska dropped to 2.6 crore gallons, which was grossly insufficient to fulfill the city's requirement," says Liyaqat Ghori, Chairman, AMC Water Supply Committee. According to him, if the state government keeps the supply at Raska at 6.5 crore gallons per day water can be given to Ahmedabad two times a day but as of now AMC finds it difficult to keep water supply going even once a day.

At present the city is getting water for two hours in the mornings but even then there were complaints of low pressure and water going off from taps 15 minutes before the scheduled time.

Meanwhile, leader of opposition in AMC and BJP leader Dharmendra Shah ridiculed Patel's allegations and urged him to focus on supplying water to citizens instead.

He demanded immediate repair of around 30 borewells which are lying idle for the want of repair.

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