First, the unbearable heat and now, an acute drinking water crisis looms large on the Giridih district with two of its water supply centres drying up, thanks to the sharp rise in temperature and the absence of rainfall.
Water level at Khandoli Dam and Chaitadih mines pit — two major drinking water supply centres in the district— have drastically come down this summer, causing the alarm bells to ring.
District administration officials said that if such a situation prevailed for long, an acute crisis of drinking water would make life miserable for the residents.
There has been a steady rise in temperature since April 16. The mercury has touched 40°C and more. Today, the maximum temperature recorded was 42° C.
"Water is evaporating fast from the Khandoli Dam because of the abnormal rise in temperature. So far, the water level has gone down by five feet. There is a football installed at every stage in the dam to mark the water level. Now, the water has touched the third football. We had to open the third gate of the dam to supply water to the people of Giridih," public health engineering department executive engineer Rajendra Prasad told The Telegraph.
"Such a situation has occurred after a decade. Never before had the water level come down so much. If it does not rain and things continue like this, we will not be able to lift water from the dam as we don't have the required equipment," he said.
Established in 1955, the Khandoli Dam provides drinking water to the township area, comprising more than a lakh population.
Not only the town people, those living in the rural areas will also get affected. This is because the water level in Chaitadih mines pit — a deep well — has also gone down by 25ft. The Chaitadih mines pit caters water to around 30,000 people of Bhandaridih, Chaitadih, Baxidih and other adjoining areas.
Telegraph / 2009 April 27