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VAK's Engagement with Water Issues > What's been in the Newspapers > May 2008

"Pipes laid, taps turned on and then, the wait for funds", 9th May 2008 , Hindustan Times

Mohammad Younus, a school teacher in Kandi village near Jammu , too more than two years to find a suitable match. That was because people in neighboring villages didn't want to marry their daughters off to someone in Kandi. Now with Younus finally married, he faces another problem. Each time his wife goes to fetch water from the well, he accompanies her to ensure that she does not fall into it. A number of people and cattle have died after falling into village wells.

The authorities hadn't tried. Engineering of the Public Health Engineering (PHE) had formulated a project under the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Project (ASWSP) and had even spent Rs.49 lakh on it by March 2006. The PHE engineers then decided to help some localities in Kandi by getting them water from Balla. A part from the PHE project, the Rural Development Department had also dug up nearly half a dozen wells I the village under the centrally sponsored Integrated Watershed Development Programme. But most of these wells dried up much before the onset of summer.

  "Andheri water woes spill out in 19 leakages", 10 th May 2008, Hindustan Times

It's all, going down the drain. Water that can fill three to four tanks, sufficient to cater to over 100 families, is being wasted every day because of 19 leakages at Maroj Maroshi, Andheri-Kurla Road and Sahar Airport Road . A major leakage was found out near Old State Bank bus stop at Marol Maroshi Road in a newly laid pipeline. "As heavy vehicles ply on this road, the new pipeline has been damaged.

"Due to water leakages almost two litres out of 10 litres of water supply is wasted every day".

  "Water storage capacity in Chennai inadequate, says PWD Secretary, 11 th May 2008 , Hindustan Times

Drinking water availability is not a cause of concern even though several high-rise housing projects and software companies are coming up in different parts of the city. But, what is causing concern to the government is the inadequate tank storage facility, Mr. Audiseshiah said addressing members of the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), Tamil Nadu Regional Branch, and Chennai.

The Rs.165 - crore Kattalai barrage canal project would span the South of Cauvery Water River Basin where a 255-km canal would be constructed to facilitate partial diversion of flood water to drought-prone area and also help to mitigate impact of floods.

The linking of rivers within the State would be taken under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit programme of the Centre.

Commissioner of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Service and honorary Secretary of IIPA P.R. Shampath said that "interlinking of rivers" was a sensitive topic and there was need for better understanding of the contentious issues behind it.

  "Gujarat used less than 7% of Narmada dam water in 2007", 28th May 2008, Hindustan Times

Gujarat , the state meant to benefit most from the dams of the Narmada Valley Development Project used less than 7% of the water it received in 2007, according to data obtained by a Delhi-based environmental group. The project is meant to irrigate more than 20 lakh hectares of land and generate 1,450 megawatts of power. But it will also displace about 50,000 families living along the river's banks.

A total of 19.91 billion cubic metre of the river's water passed through the dam's power houses, Gujarat used only 1.285 billion cubic metres for irrigation, industrial usage, and supplies to cities and towns. Gujarat had utilised so little of the water because it had still not completed its canal network, which must traverse thousands of kilometers across towns and villages of central and western Gujarat . It is important that the ministry of water resources and the state governments answer for the in-fructuous investment in India 's costliest irrigation project.

N.V. Patel chairman of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited said "I would like to give water to all the 18 lakh hectares meant to benefit from the project", he said, "I want to complete most of the canal network construction by May 2010. Former Union minister Yoginder Alagh, who was among the Narmada Project's planners in the 1980s, agreed that the incomplete canal network was to blame for Gujarat's low utillisation, but called for a more nuanced reading of data. "Not all the water is going waste", Alagh said. "Because of seepage, ground water levels have risen in what is a very dry part of India .

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