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
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.
Residents of Indira Nagar are dependent on water tankers to fulfil their daily requirement.
Contrary to expectations that areas near Metro stations would be clean, heaps of garbage greet commuters near Durgapuri station.