How safe is the water residents of the State capital consume? Not much, if they happen to be residents of Kanke Road, a part of Upper Bazaar, Indrapuri, Kutchery Birsa Agriculture University and Ranchi Veterinary College localities.
Residents of these localities are forced to consume impure water, foul smell and floating worms.
Notably, the CCL hospital, Central Institute of Psychiatry and Ranchi Institute of Neuro-Psychiatry Allied Sciences, official residence of Chief Minister High Court judges Central Coalfield Limited colonies also fall in the area.
“The water is greenish in colour. It smells so bad that you can even not use it for bathing. The problem is continuing from the last two months. Apparently, the greenish colour and foul smell are because of the high concentration of decomposed algae. Had it been the normal day we could have protested on the road,” said Sonu Kumar, a resident of Dhawan Nagar.
Water to these localities is supplied from Kanke Dam. Situated at the base of the Gonda hill it spreads over 450 acres. Right after it was constructed in 1954 the dam has never been cleaned to its depth. However, few years back a portion of the catchment area of the dam was cleaned to increase its capacity. The catchment area is further shrinking due to encroachment and illegal construction besides water quality is turning from bad to worse due to irregular maintenance.
“Water body is covered with algae. The dam has been made into a dumping ground. Sewerages and drainages have outfalls in this dam so you can imagine the kind of water we are consuming. My daughter is sensitive to impure water since she has a skin problem. I use filtered water for her. In the last two months water purifier mechanics thrice repaired the water filter,” said Amit Kumar Mishra, a resident of Kanke road.
Mishra said that at a time the Covid 19 has also financially affected people purchasing filtered water and paying for maintenance of water filter at home have come as an additional burden.
But many people can’t afford to purchase filtered water that comes in containers. And those who can afford it are too scared.
“You can’t use the supply of water and at a time when Covid 19 virus is affecting people, bringing water from outside is also very risky. Entire government is busy in handling Covid 19 crisis so it seems that nobody is taking care of the water supply,” said Jitendra Kumar Singh.
The Jawaharnagar Colony which is the address of top ranking bureaucrats of state contractors and maintenance agencies have been asked to make alternative arrangements of groundwater.
An engineer of Drinking Water and Sanitation Department who was earlier deputed at Kanke dam said that in summer, the suction pipe reaches the 8ft layer of mud collected over the years.
“Algae have to be removed otherwise algae gets decomposed in high summer and it creates problems. I think at the treatment plant chemicals are not properly used to clean water,” said the engineer.