News & Information From Northeast India

Guwahati faces drinking water crisis; residents forced to buy water from illegal tenders

Guwahati is witnessing major signs of global warming these days. While the city was reeling under severe drinking water crisis; flash floods, soil erosion and water logging due to rain and thunderstorms this week has affected normal life in the city.

Irony is that the city is facing drinking water crisis and flash floods almost at the same time. Residents said that it is due to lack of proper planning that the city is facing such crisis.

“While I try to commute wading through the water-logged streets, irony is that back home I am forced to purchase drinking water as the borewell at my apartment complex has gone dry,” said Akhil Das who resides at a multi-storied gated society in the Ghoramara area of Guwahati.

The situation is same at almost every part of the city. Increase in population, urbanization and excess withdrawal of ground water has been identified as some of the major indicators for the water crisis in the city.

According to the ground water resource estimation report in 2013, Assam was placed under the safe category status when it comes to district-wise withdrawal of groundwater. Even though Assam enjoys the safe category status, Guwahati is facing a crisis situation due to localised variations and lack of scope of recharging lost groundwater.

“Lack of water affects regular livelihood. It is tough to manage as we need water for almost everything. The household works go for a toss,” said Renu Das, a resident of Gotanagar area in Guwahati.

While the crisis has seen growth of illegal water tenders in the city, the slow progress of the water supply project in Guwahati is a worrying the citizens. “My area was dug-up badly for the water supply pipelines. It’s been almost 2 years now but we are yet to hear about the commissioning of the water supply project in the city. Blame-games will not help. The government should take up the issue strongly with the people executing the project,” said Rahul Baruah, a resident of Dakshingaon area of the city.

“We have heard about the various steps taken for supplying sufficient water. But we are still awaiting things to change on the ground. There has not been much improvement and we still have to struggle for drinking water,” said Subha Mandal, a resident of Maligaon.

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