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Residents of three villages in Morni left high and dry

Lone tubewell catering to their needs goes waterless

Residents of three villages in Morni left high and dry

Villagers fetch water from a water tanker arranged by the administration.



Tribune News Service

Ravneet Singh

Panchkula, May 17

A tubewell, which has been providing potable water to three villages, namely Jolly, Tunga and Mohliwala in the Morni area of Panchkula, has gone dry, leaving over 400 residents parched in this peak summer.

Residents are forced to fetch water from adjoining villages. As a temporary measure, the Department of Water Supply started providing them water tankers two days ago to help them meet their drinking water needs.

‘Rainwater doesn’t seep into ground’

Large-scale infestation of Lantana Camara (a bush) and creepers in Morni, which prevents rainwater from seeping into the ground. Rainwater is directly absorbed into the atmosphere due to which the natural springs go dry in the summers. — Dr SS Grewal, ex-director, PAU, Ludhiana

The three villages are among many that fall in the semi-mountainous region of Morni. Drying of natural springs leaves them dependent on tubewells, which are unsustainable, leading to scarcity of water at certain times.

Ranbir, a villager, explained they were facing water scarcity for the past 20 days. “We were forced to fetch water from adjoining villages. People have livestock at their homes. The authorities should make drinking water available to us.” He informed that a natural spring that begins from the Morni hills and goes toward Naraingarh while passing through their area dried up in summers.

Balbir Singh, a resident of Tunga village and son of ex-sarpanches Amar Singh and Karmo Devi, said, “The department has started providing drinking water, but it is insufficient. The state should provide a sustainable and long-term solution by making a dam in the area.”

The village panchayat led by Komal Devi had raised the matter in a letter to the department on April 19 and sought installation of a new tubewell in the area. Komal Devi’s husband Anil said the department carried out a survey of the area to check the availability of water. Sameer Sharma, XEN, Department of Water Supply, said, “We will soon issue a tender for installation of new tubewell at an estimated cost of about Rs 15 to 18 lakh." He added, "The region is semi-mountainous in which canals and tubewells are not sustainable solutions. However, we have to depend on these. It is up to the state government to build a dam for the area, which could be a long-term solution."

Dr SS Grewal, former director, PAU, Ludhiana, who has worked as a soil and water conservation scientist for over 40 years in areas, including Morni, said the region had steep slopes where creation of large dams for water conservation was not possible. He said, "Therefore, making small dams is one answer to resolve the water issues of residents."

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