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Jamshedpur: Water crisis hits fringe areas, Bagbera worst-hit

Jamshedpur, March 5: People living beyond Tata Steel command areas in Jamshedpur and its outskirts are reeling under acute water crisis due to depleting groundwater table owing to overexploitation of groundwater resources. This overexploitation has led to decline in the groundwater table by nearly 200 feet in the last seven-eight years. The worst hit area is Bagbera.

The water table which could be found at 40-50 feet in 2005-06 is now at 200-300 feet in the city and its adjoining areas according to figures available with the directorate of ground water resources, a unit of state water resources department.

 The directorate of ground water resources has kept Jamshedpur blocks under over-exploited category (where water extraction is more than water recharge).

“Several companies have come up by filling lakes. Buildings and residential plots have come up in areas by cutting large numbers of trees and this has led to depletion of ground water tables. Several wells have gone dry and tubewells have become dysfunctional. Earlier, we had to dig a boring well up to 100 feet and could easily get water and now we have to dig a boring well for more than 200 feet. People are facing horrible times in summer heat,” said a local resident.

An official of the drinking water and sanitation department, Jamshedpur division, admitted that a large number of tubewells have become dysfunctional in the city outskirts due to depletion of ground water tables.

“We will be sending a proposal to the state drinking water and sanitation department for sanction of installation of extra deep well pumps in view of the depletion of groundwater tables in parched areas especially in Parsudih, Kitadih, Ghaghidih and Bagbera areas,” the official added.

 The East Singhbhum district administration in a knee-jerk reaction has deputed senior administrative officials in each of the 11 blocks of the district for constant monitoring of the grim water scenario from Tuesday.

“These senior officials will be reviewing the water scenario and presenting their report to the East Singhbhum deputy commissioner,” said the official.

A senior district official said that if the water crisis in the city increases, they would increase the water supply through tankers. “It is really difficult for us. The scorching heat along with decreasing water level has made life difficult for us.  Long queues of women standing for water at hand pumps are a regular feature,” said Yohesh Sharma, a resident of Bagbera.

Now, as the water crisis is looming large since the city received scanty rain last year, the supply of water through tankers would be increased by around 30 lakh litres.

According to the district administration, water tanker trips daily will ensure the supply of water in the slum areas of the city, where the water crisis is looming large because the tube wells and hand pumps have dried up.

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