Indira Na­gar thirsts for wa­ter as depts play ‘wait­ing game’

Bad roads and poor solid waste mgmt are ma­jor is­sues that need to be ad­dressed, say cit­i­zens

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Front Page - Bra­jen­dra K Parashar bkparashar@hin­dus­tan­times.com

LUC­KNOW: Indira Na­gar, which is said to be Asia’s big­gest res­i­den­tial colony, has gone ‘dry’ with the two de­part­ments -- ur­ban de­vel­op­ment and ir­ri­ga­tion — which can help solve the acute wa­ter cri­sis, re­sort­ing to the Nawabi norm: “pehle aap, pehle aap”.

In­ci­den­tally, the colony res­i­dents are bat­tling wa­ter cri­sis just a week be­fore the state cap­i­tal holds civic elec­tions, with var­i­ous po­lit­i­cal par­ties promis­ing all civic ameni­ties.

Most res­i­dents wake up to dry taps and then scram­ble for wa­ter from tankers, which are sent to some ar­eas, while oth­ers make bee­lines to houses that have hand pumps or jet pumps.

The wa­ter cri­sis in Indira Na­gar, con­sist­ing of 25 blocks with a to­tal pop­u­la­tion of around 4 lakh, be­gan a week ago but it took a se­ri­ous turn on Sun­day when the wa­ter sup­ply source dried up and the two gov­ern­ment de­part­ments fail­ing to co­or­di­nate among them­selves to avoid the cri­sis.

The cri­sis is be­ing at­trib­uted to the Kathauta lake (that sup­plies wa­ter to Indira Na­gar) dry­ing up be­cause of the ir­ri­ga­tion depart­ment not re­leas­ing wa­ter into it from the Sharda canal in time.

“The ir­ri­ga­tion depart­ment stops wa­ter sup­ply to the lake ev­ery year in mid-Oc­to­ber to clean the Sharda canal. It re­leases wa­ter into it again by Novem­ber 11,” Luc­know Jal Sansthan gen­eral man­ager SK Verma said, adding: “But this time the ir­ri­ga­tion depart­ment did not re­lease wa­ter into the canal by Novem­ber 11 even as wa­ter we stored to meet the re­quire­ment in be­tween ran out, re­sult­ing in the cri­sis in Indira Na­gar.”

The Jal Sansthan comes un­der the ur­ban de­vel­op­ment depart­ment. Ir­ri­ga­tion min­is­ter Dharam­pal Singh said: “Wa­ter was re­leased into the Kathauta lake on Tues­day (Novem­ber 14) af­ter ur­ban de­vel­op­ment depart­ment brought the mat­ter to our no­tice.” He said it was quite pos­si­ble that Jal Sansthan of­fi­cials did not re­quest their ir­ri­ga­tion counter parts to re­lease wa­ter.

“Some­times ego be­tween the two de­part­ments leads to such a sit­u­a­tion as one ex­pects the other to blink first,” the min­is­ter said, adding, “A sim­i­lar cri­sis re­cently erupted in Kan­pur for this very rea­son.”

LUC­KNOW:: Luc­know is one of the fastest grow­ing ci­ties in the coun­try along with Chandi­garh and Ahmed­abad, but it faces a host of ‘peren­nial’ civic is­sues.

Bad roads, poor trans­port, over­crowd­ing and en­croach­ments on roads, sewage/wa­ter/ hous­ing woes, poor street­light­ing & solid waste man­age­ment, slums and squat­ter set­tle­ments, and ur­ban pol­lu­tion are grow­ing prob­lems that need to be ad­dressed, say cit­i­zens.

De­spite the di­rec­tives of chief min­is­ter to make them pot­hole free, a num­ber of roads are not yet re­paired. Ar­eas like Bala­ganj, Anand Na­gar, Chowk, Thakur­ganj, Ganesh­ganj, Aminabad and Go­la­ganj have bumpy and bro­ken roads. Ku­mar Pradeep, res­i­dent of Go­la­ganj, said in­te­rior roads are in a pa­thetic con­di­tion and com­muters suf­fer due to ap­a­thy of of­fi­cials con­cerned.

Pub­lic trans­port is in poor shape de­spite the ini­tial phase of Metro be­ing op­er­a­tional in the city. “Lack of last-mile con­nec­tiv­ity from Metro sta­tions and proper bus ser­vice in a rapidly ex­pand­ing city is an­other prob­lem faced by com­muters,” said RK Bha­tia of Ashi­ana Res­i­dents Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion. “Peo­ple need af­ford­able and cheap bus ser­vice,” he added.

Mar­kets in Aminabad, Alam­bagh, Sin­gar Na­gar, Chowk, Thakur­ganj, Pa­trakarpu­ram, Charbagh, Naka Hin­dola, Aish­bagh, Ra­ja­jipu­ram, Nakkhas, Vic­to­ria Street, Nazirabad, Bhoot­nath, Indira Na­gar are full of en­croach­ments sup­ported by

lo­cal politi­cians. Gokul Prasad, head of Aminabad Pa­tri Dukan­dar Samiti, said, “We are ready to move from the roads, but give us sim­i­lar kind of fa­cil­i­ties and en­sure our sales in that area.”

How­ever, shop­keep­ers of Aminabad com­plain of dip­ping sales be­cause of en­croach­ments on the road. “The traders of Aminabad and Nazirabad have wit­nessed 60% drop in sales in the last 10 years be­cause of en­croach­ments,” said Suresh Ch­ablani of UP Udyog Vya­par Man­dal. The sup­ply of safe drink­ing wa­ter is pos­si­ble only

in 60% of the city, claim Jal Sansthan of­fi­cials, adding that 50% of the con­nec­tions are il­le­gal.

The Jal Sansthan has the re­spon­si­bil­ity of quench­ing the thirst of around 40 lakh Luc­knowites and 15 lakh float­ing pop­u­la­tion, which comes to the state cap­i­tal for daily work.

Jal Sansthan sup­plies around 750 mn litres of wa­ter ev­ery day, but 40% of it goes waste or is stolen in mid­way.

BJP’s may­oral can­di­date Sanyukta Bha­tia said, “Hap­haz­ard and un­planned growth of ur­ban ar­eas has led to most of the prob­lems.

Prob­lems of poor sewage and solid waste keep on grow­ing be­cause of un­planned growth. My ef­fort would be to cre­ate in­fra­struc­ture for the masses.”

BSP’s may­oral can­di­date Bul­bul Godiyal said: “Pol­lu­tion is a ma­jor is­sue. The only rem­edy to this is plant­ing of saplings and en­sur­ing that they grow into trees.” “Solid waste man­age­ment, potable wa­ter, street­lights and san­i­ta­tion are main prob­lems that need im­me­di­ate at­ten­tion. I will fo­cus on these prob­lems,” said Meera Tal­war Vard­han, SP’s may­oral can­di­date.

HT PHOTO

Res­i­dents of Indira Na­gar are de­pen­dent on wa­ter tankers to ful­fil their daily re­quire­ment.

DEEPAK GUPTA/HT PHOTO

Con­trary to ex­pec­ta­tions that ar­eas near Metro sta­tions would be clean, heaps of garbage greet com­muters near Dur­ga­puri sta­tion.

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