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BIRGUNJ: Many places of Birgunj Metropolitan City in Parsa district are fraught with drinking water problems at present.
Prolonged drought and excessively hot temperatures (ranging from 40 degrees Celsius to 45) have started drying up water springs one after another. As a result, people residing in wards no 12, 6, and 14 in the Metropolis are facing an acute shortage of drinking water lately.
The hand pumps and taps installed in houses in the areas such as Chapkaiya, Minabazar, Biswa, Nagawa, Murli, Tejarath Tole, Pratima Chowk, Brahma Chowk, and customs office area among others are drying up.
Ladu Prasad Shah of ward no 12 managed to collect to six liters of drinking water from a tube well after walking some five kilometers with a water jar. He shared that he had been fetching water from various major marketplaces since the wee hours today.
“The tube wells are drying up as rainfall has not taken place for long in our locality. Although I managed to collect some 5 to 6 liters of water today, I am worried how to manage more water for daily use,” Shah said, adding that it takes at least 100 to 150 liters of water on a daily basis for his five-member family.
According to him, their top concern lately is about how to sustain with scant water.
Rajesh Gupta of ward no 6 used to start his day with religious worship after taking a shower regularly in the morning. He shyly admitted that it has been four days since he bathe in lack of water.
“The tube well installed at home for drinking water dried up,” shared Gupta, adding that they had been fetching drinking water from a neighbour.
Sumitra Devi of ward no 14 has been catering to the need for drinking water by borrowing from her neighbor. The requirement of drinking water for her 10-member family is huge. “We need water for cooking food but the tube well is drying up. In such a situation, our top concern is how to cook and how to manage water for other activities amid the water crisis?”
Although there is a problem with drinking water every year during the summer, there has never been such a crisis in a long time, said 75-year-old Shankar Shah Kalwar.
Maya Lama of ward no 15 said that the scorching heat from morning to evening had dried up the tube well resulting in problems of drinking water. “Since water is an essential element for humans, we are suffering a lot in lack of water,” she said.
Apart from personal residences, the problem of drinking water prevails in schools, private offices, and industries in the Metropolis. Considering the drinking water problem, the Metropolis has been distributing water from water tankers for some time now.
The Metropolis has been pumping underground water and collecting it in tankers to distribute to the people, said Laxmi Prasad Poudel, the chief administrator of the Metropolis.
Furthermore, the Metropolis has been coordinating efforts with the Water Supply Corporation and Drinking Water and Sanitation Division Office to permanently address the shortage of drinking water, informed Poudel, adding that the Metropolis was tightening the noose against illegal deep water boring, one of the measures to prevent spring of water from drying up.
Niran Maharjan, Branch Manager at the Nepal Water Supply Corporation, said that plan was afoot to install a public tap in each ward of the Metropolis to resolve the drinking water-related issue.
Pradeep Yadav, a parliamentarian elected from Parsa constituency no 1, had recently drawn the attention of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ towards the drinking water shortage in Birgunj after holding a meeting with him at his office.