Indian authorities are facing a shortage of water to purify drinking water, as the country’s most populous state struggles to cope with an unprecedented water crisis.
On Tuesday, the central government ordered a massive water purifying operation in the countrys most populous states, including Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, in an attempt to meet a demand for a quarter of a million litres of water per day, and to restore the supply of the country ‘on a daily basis’, state-run water utility Bharat Sanchar Nigam said.
But, the government said it would not be able to supply water to all households, and there was no immediate timetable for the project.
“We have already been operating a water purifi-cation project in the villages of Gurgaon and Purulia districts, and the water is being supplied by the same district government and is being used by the district water workers,” said Bharat Sinh, director-general of the state water supply department.
“However, we have to run a new water puri-cation operation in other parts of the district to fill the gap in the existing water supply,” he said.
“As far as we know, the remaining 50% of the water supply is still not available,” he added.
The government has announced a total of 2.9 million litres per day (MLD) of water purifications across the state.
“There is no water to go to.
We are using our own resources,” the head of the village water management committee in the state, Anand Pramanik, told AFP.
While there is water to be used, there is no guarantee of availability, he added, warning that there could be shortages even in the districts where the water supplies were already full.
The Indian government has launched a water-purification operation to supply the drought-hit state, which is in the midst of the worst drought in a century.
The government says it will supply water through an array of wells and canals, and will also supply drinking water to people who can’t afford it.
But even as authorities have started to get supplies of water, the number of cases of waterborne diseases has risen to more than 200,000 from less than 500,000, according to a report by the United Nations.
The state is also facing a spike in the number who die of water-borne diseases, with the number last year being the worst since records began in 1960.
India is among the world’s most densely populated countries, with more than two million people living in its seven districts.
Many districts are in distress, and authorities say water shortages are expected to last into next year.
The authorities say they are also aiming to provide the drinking water in the drought stricken areas to 1.2 million households, who are mostly poor, many of whom are from villages that have little water.
But as many as two-thirds of the 1.6 million households who need water, have not been provided.
Water authorities have also warned that people living under water scarcity conditions are also vulnerable to waterborne disease outbreaks.