NMC ready to quench thirst of drought-hit Marathwada

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Proshun Chakraborty, TNN | Mar 27, 2013, 02.34 AM IST

NAGPUR: In a show of solidarity, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has decided to provide drinking water to Marathwada due to acute shortage of potable water in the drought-hit region.

Mayor Anil Sole said that the NMC would supply drinking water by train to the drought-affected region this summer. "In response to a request made by the state, the NMC has decided to bail out the water crisis-hit region by supplying potable water from Nagpur," the mayor claimed.

Several districts in Marathwada are facing acute water shortage in the wake of an unprecedented drought this year. However, municipal commissioner Shyam Wardhane said that no order has been issued as yet. "But the state government is thinking on this possibility to provide water to affected regions through railways," he said, adding reservoirs in the city have surplus water. "As of now we have shown our readiness," said Sole.

Presently, the city gets 640 MLD water from Gorewada and Kanhan water treatment plants. "It's enough for the city's 24.20 lakh population," said chairman of water works committee Sudhakar Kolhe.

The Kanhan water treatment plant pumps 218 MLD water every day, whereas the capacity of Gorewada plant is around 418 MLD. Kolhe, however, pointed out that the stock of water in the Pench reservoir is not enough to supply water to the other regions of the state, but Kanhan has ample water that can be easily shared.

But the problem with Kanhan WTP is frequent tripping of power supply, he said, adding in the last three months at least five times filtration of water got affected because of which the city could not get 250 MLD water. The NMC is already providing water to railways and hospitals, he said.

Kolhe said the NMC is yet to know how much water it will have to spare for Marathwada region. He, however, pointed out that every day the civic body can easily provide 10 to 15 MLD water.

Leader of the opposition in the NMC and senior Congress corporator Vikas Thakre said that the civic body should provide drinking water to Marathwada as like Vidarbha, it is also a backward region.

"Every day, lakhs of litres gets wasted. Many a time, the pipelines are very old and fragile and cannot bear the pressure of the water, while at other times, water mafias break these pipelines to steal and sell water," he said, adding leakages must be repaired immediately.