JICA works add to summer water woes in Salcete

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May 6, 2016 at 10:53 am #6461

Several areas of Margao and Fatorda are facing water problems this summer as the old water pipelines have ruptured too often, courtesy the sewerage work being carried out by JICA (Japan International Co-operation Agency).

The number of calls from the people at the PWD water section, complaining about pipeline ruptures, has also increased keeping the engineers on their toes attending to the calls and restoring water supply by fixing the damaged pipelines.

For instance, the Margao-Navelim border area, Colmorod, has been the most affected with 2000-odd residents facing the brunt of the JICA work.

There have been constant ruptures to water pipelines while carrying out the work and in absence of old pipeline network layout, the restoration has been an uphill task for the officials.

In one instance, it was found that JICA authorities had fixed the damaged area of a water pipe with the help of tyre-tube pieces. However, these solutions have not lasted long and the pipeline, having temporary ‘quick-fixes’, have ruptured again due to excessive heat.

Assistant engineer Vijay Kurtarkar said that “we are annoyed by JICA work. It has created a mess everywhere and compounded the summer water woes. People keeping calling us up with complaints. They lash out at us but we are helpless.”

He said that certain areas of Fatorda constituency like Chandrawaddo, Colmorod, Aquem are getting water supply under low pressure.

“They get restricted water supply, but we are helpless. The pipelines are also old. If the water pressure is increased, the pipes will burst,” Kurtarkar said.

Colmorod councillor Sheikh Jaffer said that the JICA work is progressing at a slow pace. “Every time, we cannot supply water through tankers. This year the water scarcity here has been caused mainly due to the JICA work. The area is badly hit with over 2000 residents facing the brunt. I urge the government to resolve the issue at the earliest,” he said.

Loutolim is another area which is also facing water shortage. Localities like Carvota, Orgao, Devote and Rassaim of Loutolim are getting water supply with low pressure and this happens every summer. Vanxem is another locality which gets drinking water supply only for certain hours.

“Shanti Avedna Ashram, which looks after cancer patients, was supplied with tanker water. The patients cannot be made to suffer further,” said deputy sarpanch Mario Fernandes of Loutolim.

When this reporter visited the place, it was found that there are three tanks; however, only one is in use. “The first tank was discarded after it developed leakages. The third one is still under completion. We do not know whether it will be ready this month or not. We have a sump at a low level. It collects directly supplied water and then the water is pumped into the tank at Monte hill (Loutolim). But the pipeline is weak and has often burst under pressure,” Fernandes said.

Sarpanch Maria Rodrigues said that the MLA recently had a meeting with PWD engineers and asked them to identify areas before preparing a proposal for replacing the old pipelines.

Rachol village is also hit by water scarcity and Ilha de Rachol locality gets limited water supply and there is no effort made by the government to augment water supply even though the village is adopted under the central government scheme.

“A few areas of the village get water supply under low pressure while other areas do not have water. People were expecting some improvement with a focus on development, but nothing much has changed,” said sarpanch of village panchayat Rachol Joseph Vaz.

The water woes of people of Camorlim and Raia are different. Though they get moderate supply of water, it is often muddy.

The issue had figured in the gram sabhas and Camorlim sarpanch Hilda Sequeira had assured to take it up with the PWD engineers.

Source/Reference: Navhind Times, “JICA works add to summer water woes in Salcete

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