Power crisis hits water supply, Govt goes for rationing in Jammu region

With the power crisis hitting the working of lifting stations and filtration plants, the government has now opted for rationing of drinking water in the Jammu region.
Official sources in the public health engineering (PHE) department revealed that the residential areas would be getting the supply for 45 minutes daily or on alternate days during the next one month, depending on the availability of water in reservoirs.
Since mid-May, Jammu and Kashmir is facing acute power crisis due to poor infrastructure and failure of the state government to clear nearly Rs 450-crore dues of Power Trading Corporation. The situation in other towns of the state is also grim.
There are three filtration stations on the Tawi — Sitle lifts 17.62 million gallons per day (MGD) to the supply system, Tawi lift station adds 1.80 MGD while Boria filtration adds 3 MGD.
However, they are working under their capacity due to unscheduled power cuts and fluctuations. There are 262 heavy duty tubewells which also run on power.
“We are finding it difficult to maintain the supply as our filtration plants and heavy duty pumps are not functioning to their maximum capacity. We have discussed the issue with the power development department officials but they say their back-up is already under pressure,” said AK Gandotra, chief engineer, PHE department.
Officials said the situation was likely to get streamlined after the onset of monsoon as there would be drop in temperature. It helps to keep transformers and other infrastructure cool.
“Drinking water supply has become erratic. At times, we get water on alternate days and just for 20 minutes. This has become a regular affair during summer,” said Bushan Lal, a resident of Udhampur.
Ministers hold meeting
Facing widespread resentment for their failure to ensure power and water supply during summer, Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Sham Lal Choudhary and Minister for Power Development Sunil Kumar Sharma on Sunday chaired a joint meeting of the departments to discuss the prevailing situation. The meeting was attended by the MLAs from the Jammu region and senior officials of the department.
“We have been assured that dedicated transformers will be provided to the power department to run its infrastructure. Measures are underway to improve and upgrade the existing infrastructure with special focus on border areas,” said Sham Lal during the meeting.
The government has also directed the PHE department to file a report in two days about the critical issues regarding the maintenance of assets of the department so that the people don’t have to suffer.