Ground reality aside, southern sector houses may get hand pumps

If a recent proposal mooted by some city municipal councillors sees the light of day, residents living in the southern sectors may be able to install shallow hand pumps within their residential premises. That all the samples of shallow water taken from different locations a few months back failed the test of purity does not seem to have deterred the councillors proposing the move. Issues like keeping checks to ensure that the water is not used for drinking also seems to have been completely ignored.

The proposal mooted by Deputy Mayor Satish Kainth and Congress councillors Sat Prakash Aggarwal and Darshan Garg is all set to be discussed at a meeting of the General House scheduled for December 19.

As per the proposal, the shallow water level in the southern sectors is on the rise which is causing damage to the foundations of the buildings in these areas. The aim is to put to use this water for non-potable purposes. The hand pumps would be installed at a depth of 50 feet. "We have proposed that the residents be allowed to install hand pumps on their own within the residential premises. The MC would not charge anything and no permission would have to be sought. The hand pumps can be colour-coded to indicate that the water cannot be used for drinking," says Kainth.

He adds, "When the water pipeline was damaged recently, it caused disruption in water supply. This will ensure that the drinking water is supplied by MC. For other purposes, people can use hand pumps. These pumps do not consume electricity. More suggestions can be received when the issue is discussed at the House meeting ."

However, the councillors seem to have overlooked the ground realities. Chandigarh has vast reserves of shallow water available. Since a part of the share of water being used by Chandigarh would be diverted to Panchkula in the coming months, the Municipal Corporation had proposed to install shallow tubewells to tide over the water shortage. Water samples were collected from various locations at a depth of 150 feet. But all the water samples failed the test. An official of the civic body said that all samples of shallow water had failed the test and the water was unfit for usage. Ammonia and bacterial impurities had been detected. He said that it would be difficult to keep a check to ensure that the water drawn from the hand pumps was used only for non-potable purposes. At present the procedure for installation of the hand pump is that permission is sought from the MC. The civic] body then presents the case to the UT Administration for the final permission.

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