Mirik hit by water scarcity, sources dried up

Mirik : Mirik hit by water scarcity that is only growing graver with each passing day , the current hot and dry weather has created a chaotic situation in Mirik block as most water sources have dried up in the region leading to scarcity.

Women collecting water from a hand pump beside Mirik Lake.
Women collecting water from a hand pump beside Mirik Lake.

In addition, forest fires are also getting triggered off here at various places on a regular basis, which burn up the water supplying polymer pipes completely adding to the woes of residents. Town residents complain that despite the existence of numerous water sources, the town administration has failed to deliver proper services to them. It is ironical that a town that is home to a splendid lake should bear the brunt of water scarcity.

The situation has taken alarming proportions with a large number of town residents being forced to purchase their daily quota of drinking water. Some women have jumped to the opportunity and are selling water in town at a cost of Rs20 for 30 litres. They collect water from hand pumps set up beside the lake and supply the necessary liquid right at people’s doorsteps.

The hand pumps are in operation throughout the day, with people from surrounding areas grouping around for laundry washing, bathing and collecting water for drinking and domestic use. Despite the increasing pollution, the people have no alternative and have to depend on the hand pumps for their water supplies.

It is well-known that Mirik town has enough of perennial water sources, but the administration’s lack of initiative has created an atmosphere of virtual water scarcity across the area. The Rai Dhap Water Project aimed at providing drinking water to residents of the seven wards under Mirik Municipality began about 15 years ago, but the project is yet to be completed.

The hand pumps installed by the municipality around the lake need to be tested for the purity of water they supply. There is every possibility of the untreated water carrying several life-threatening ailments. The troubles for residents here may only escalate if water-borne diseases break out in epidemic proportions. It remains to be seen whether the administration takes the right step at the right time or leaves things to fate.


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