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Ukhrul Reeling Under Acute Water Shortage

UKHRUL, Mar 7: The impact of the dry season normally does not come in the early part of March, but here in Ukhrul district headquarters, people are already reeling under the acute shortage of potable water for the last 24 days.

Apart from the water taps running dry, what has multiplied the woes of the people is the contamination, pollution and drying up of traditional sources of water such as ponds, springs and brooks.

A handful of enterprising people have however seized the situation to their advantage selling fully loaded water tank of 1000 liters for Rs 480 to 500. The inflated amount is not the major concern for even the private water suppliers are finding it difficult to meet the demands of the people of Ukhrul.

When The Sangai Express surveyed the scenario arising out of the acute water shortage, the people’s angst against the Government’s failure to supply even the most basic of amenities was clearly audible and visible.

Water, by the way is needed not only for domestic consumption but also for other purposes such as while building a house or cleaning.

It is a common sight to see women and young girls standing in long queues awaiting their turns at the spring/pond areas. It is a long wait for filling up each pot or container takes 35 to 40 minutes as utmost care is needed to ensure that the water does not get muddied as the water level begins to recede, with the inputs from the spring unable to keep pace with the demand of the people.

People of the district headquarters in every locality are commonly seen waking up as early as 3 am or still earlier to fetch water from the spring/pond or else they would not have enough water for the day. Some people told this correspondent that they fetch water from a river bank far away from home by foot crossing around 15 to 18 kilometers starting in the early morning and it has become a daily routine, they added.

Meanwhile, adding to the woes of the public, the inadequate and erratic supply of water through the PHED water pipes has become a matter of major concern.

While talking to The Sangai Express a retired Govt officer, writer and a prominent social worker of the district N Luikham said that this is the first time in a long, long time that Ukhrul has been such a dry period forcing the people to cope with the the hardships.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express/Addie Chiphang)

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