The residents of Driver-Hill and surrounding areas on Friday gheraoed, Mr. M Kunju, assistant engineer of Public Works Department, water department, in his chamber at Baina over water scarcity.
The agitated residents of Driver-Hill and surrounding localities such as Mestawada, Belabai and Orulem, including a large number of women, gheraod the assistant engineer, and complained that they are not receiving adequate water to their taps since the last 8 days.
Ms. Rochana Girish Borkar said, “This is not the first time the residents of Driver-Hill and surrounding areas are forced to agitate. The residents confronted the authorities two to three times earlier, wherein despite of the assurance from the officials, the problem of the irregular supply of water has not been resolved.”
Another agitated woman, Ms. Rita Alvares disclosed that the irregular supply of water to the residents of Driver-Hill has now become a regular phenomenon. “The residents of Driver-Hill and surrounding localities are struggling for the last seven to eight years to get regular supply of water to their taps, but till date, the problem has not been resolved,” maintained Ms. Alvares. She told that the people would be forced to take the law in their hands if the problem is not resolved within the next seven to eight days.
Mr. Kunju disclosed that the irregular supply of water has not only hit the Mormugao taluka but shortage of water has been encountered in the whole of South Goa due to failure of pumps at Selaulim water treatment plant. He also stated that recently there was breakdown of the water pipeline while laying of the new pipeline in the district. As the damaged pipeline took about three days to repair, the restoration of the water supply was delayed, said Mr. Kunju.
He however also informed that the production of the water at Selaulim water treatment plant has been reduced by 50 per cent due to problem encountered at filtration point which, due to accumulation of manganese by 5 parts per million (PPM) at the Intake Well.
Mr. Kunju gave a written assurance to the agitated people stating, “As there is shortfall in water supply to entire Mormugao taluka, the water supply will be normalised to Driver-Hill in a week’s time.” He further stated, “A separate line will be laid to Driver-Hill which would solve the problem of water shortage.” He also told the agitating people that water would be released for about 4 hours in the morning between 4 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kunju directed the technical section of his department to disconnect the water supply which is received to the public taps at Driver-Hill, Khariwada and at Mangor-Hill following complaints from the people on Friday. It was learnt that the PWD authorities have earlier decided to disconnect all the public taps all over the state, but there were some public taps which were still operational in the port town of Vasco, thus leading to wastage of water.