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6 Jul 2017

Water snap adds to woes

TT, Calcutta, July 5: A landslide triggered by a heavy rain destroyed three pipes which carry water to the Darjeeling town last night, adding to the woes of the residents who had been reeling under the general strike that entered its 21st day today.
D.K. Pradhan, the municipal chairman, said it would take at least 10 days to repair the pipes and appealed to the people to conserve water.
Sources in the Darjeeling municipality have said the town has a daily requirement of 15-18 lakh gallons of water which are sourced from over 25 streams.

"There was a massive landslide because of a heavy rain at Alubari last night and three major lines that bring water to the town have been snapped. It would take at least 10 days to repair the pipes. I appeal to the residents of Darjeeling to conserve water," said Pradhan.
He said the civic body had already started the repair. "I am sure that the Bengal government will not provide additional funds. Even then, we have started the repair. We urge the people to co-operate with the municipality," said Pradhan. "We request the people to make use of rain water for the time being."
The municipality has two reservoirs at Senchel, near Tiger Hill, 14km uphill, where water sourced from 26 streams is collected. The 26 streams are in the Khang Khola area, near Sonada, 5km further uphill from Senchel.
From the reservoirs, North Lake and South Lake, water is flowed to two tanks, situated near St Paul's School and Rockville. Then, the direct supply line to households and business establishments in the hill town starts.
Alubari - where the pipes were destroyed - falls between Senchel and the two tanks which carry water straight to the consumers.
Water is also pumped from the Balasun river to the North and South lakes at Senchel. The North Lake has a storage capacity of 20 million gallons, while South Lake can store 13 million gallons.
Although the residents of some areas in Darjeeling depend on streams, the snap in the municipal supply line is bound to cause additional hardship to the people.
"During the rainy season, the water supply from the municipality is more or less enough. However, if the supply is disconnected, then, we will have to bank on private tankers. The water crisis will surely add to our woes when we are facing problems because of the ongoing general strike, " said a resident.
The tankers, which have been kept out of the indefinite strike's purview, charge Rs 380 to Rs 400 per 1000 litres.
The tankers ferry water from 3rd Mile and near Rangbul, near Darjeeling.

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