|Water tankers rush in
as Jodhpur can't take the heat
JODHPUR, RAJASTHAN chief minister Ashok Gehlot's constituency, is
reeling under a water shortage. Practically the only water available
to the residents of the appropriately named 'Sun City' comes from
private tankers; and one has to pay an hefty amount for this. The
few hundred private tankers supplying water to Jodhpur residents are
not good enough to meet the demand that has shot up with soaring temperatures
in the past three weeks.
On an average, the city needs 500 lakh gallons of water daily.
Om Prakash, a tanker-owner in Paota, said he had been supplying around
eight tankers all over the city every day.
Tankers are something not everyone can afford. A tankerful of water
may cost anything between Rs 60 and Rs 200, depending on the capacity
of the tanker and the distance the water is ferried. Supplying water
to villages near Jodhpur city has become a good way of making money.
"People can't afford to pay such a huge amount per month
for water,"said councillor Bhanwar Kanwar, who has raised the
issue several times, and also written to the, chief minister. "All
we have ever got are assurances that the problem would be set right."
A desperate Kanwar had recently threatened to sit on a fast-unto-death
if the problem was not resolved by May 8. But after receiving an
assurance from the Superintending Engineer of the Public Health
and Engineering Department (PHED), Rajendra Mehta, she has put her
plans on hold.
Officials, however, deny the crisis is really very big. "It
is true that people have not been receiving water at great force.
But there is no crisis as such," Mehta said. PHED has been
supplying water very day, he insisted.
Mehta also denied that the problem had anything to do with the
capacity of the filter plant. "We have been supplying 360 gallons
of water through filter stations. The remaining supply is from tube-wells
and in the form of raw water," he said.
Mehta said the department had been trying to increase the capacity
at Kailana Lake. Besides, three water reservoirs would be constructed
under an Asian Development Bank project.