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Posted at: Sep 21, 2016, 12:50 AM; last updated: Sep 21, 2016, 12:50 AM (IST)

Water crisis man-made, sound management needed: Experts

Tribune News Service

Mussoorie, September 20

A workshop was held under the “Climate Adaptive Water Management Plans for Cities in South Asia (CAMPS) project’’ to discuss and find solutions to the drinking water woes of the tourist town of Mussoorie yesterday.

Arun Sanon, an activist, said the town had ample water and the shortage was man-made. He said water shortage makes large hotel owners and business houses spend heftily on arranging water through tankers from natural sources. “There is ample water in the town. What all we need is adequate management and distribution system,” he said.

According to Sanon, water supply from Kempty Falls should be arranged before envisaging on long term projects such as drawing water from Yamuna as it would cost more and take a long time.

Jal Sansthan Assistant Engineer TS Rawat said the Jal Sansthan was supplying water to every household for two hours daily but the situation worsened during the peak tourist seasons. Arun Sanon said instead of Jal Santhan, hoteliers should install more water tanks for usage during the emergency period.

Professor Madhushree Sekher from the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and BB Tiwari, president of the Himalayan Vikas Sansthan, said water can’’t be supplied for 24 hours but reducing the leakages and streamlining the process through appropriate technology could bring a change.

Sanjay Agarwal, secretary of the Mussoorie Hotels’ Association, said the number of reservoirs should be increased. “While water metering may a possible action, water pumping through the springs should be undertaken on an immediate basis. People should be engaged in rain water harvesting,” he said.

The speakers also stressed on creating awareness on efficient usage of water. They also suggested to undertake a study to know the actual demand and supply of water in the town. Some of them suggested seeking funds from the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) for maintaining and preserving forests.

Dr Vishal Singh, co-ordinator of the CEDAR, Dehradun, said, “Based on the suggestions and recommendations, CEDAR will take forward the concept of formulating climate adaptive management plans under this project.”

A team of researchers from the Centre for Ecology Development and Research (CEDAR), Dehradun; South Asia Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS), Kathmandu; and Tata Institute of Social Science were also present.

The project has been funded by the International Development Research Council (IDRC).

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