Mangaluru: The above numbers of water lost due to negligence of Mangaluru City Corporation by not fixing the water leakage for nearly a decade is not my calculation, but as narrated to me by Mohammed Irfan- the District Vice President of Federation of Auto Rickshaw Union while interacting with him about the non-stop flow of water leaking from a broken pipe. This article is about the water leakage from a underground water supply pipe which has been supplying water to the Wenlock Hospital Mortuary department. According to Irfan and other rickshaw drivers who operate from the Out Patient Auto Park (O P Auto Park) near Wenlock Hospital, say that the water leakage has been on for the last ten years- and until now the MCC has not rectified the problem.
So you thought you knew why your city has a water shortage and needs a better water supply system. Experts estimate that 20 to 50 percent of water pumped into the water supply system is ‘lost’ due to unexpected reasons such as leakage. And here is one example where precious water is wasted for years due to carelessness of MCC officials not trying hard to rectify the water leakage that has been still on.
Mangaluru is infamous for water shortage during the peak summer months. If the rains are good, we receive municipal water supply regularly. But, in a poor rainfall year, water supply is restricted or not available at all. The only mantra for surviving Mangaluru’s water woes is to build huge storage tanks to meet daily water needs of the family. On the other hand we have unnecessary wastage of water due to water pipe bursts, like the one near Wenlock Hospital.
The continuous leaking of this water has been creating inconvenience to the pedestrians walking on the road adjacent to Wenlock hospital going towards Central railway station- also auto-rickshaw drivers are facing problems in parking their vehicles on the flowing water, which makes hard for their customers while getting into their autos. Many Mayors and commissioners of MCC have come and gone since the water had started to leak, and no one has taken the initiative in rectifying the problem.
This article is for the kind attention of the newly elected MCC mayor Jacintha Alfred , Deputy Mayor Purushotham, commissioner and other city officials to look into this situation very seriously and fix the leakage as soon as possible before more liters of precious water is lost. While lately the MCC officials have taken the step to evacuate illegal petty shops that have been causing inconvenience to the pedestrians and motorists, they need to fix this civic issue too.
According to Irfan , Praveen and Yogendra who have been parking their auto-rickshaws near this water leakage said, “We know where the water leakage is. Years back before they resurfaced this road, there was water leakage right in the middle of the road. Instead of fixing the leakage they constructed road over it. Few weeks back, MCC workers came and dug various places to trace where exactly the water is leaking from- but they didn’t succeed and left without fixing the problem”.
“We know where the leakage is- we have even shown the MCC workers, but they wouldn’t listen to us. If only they dig right in the center of the road, they are sure to find the broken pipe. Other than that digging at wrong places is simply waste of time and useless. Few days ago when ministers came for a function at Wenlock hospital, nobody bothered about this water leakage. Even before the election, MLA JR Lobo had assured us many things, including fixing this water leakage -but until now his assurances have been non-fruitful” said the auto-drivers.
Yes, as citizen we make efforts to conserve water, but the city needs the same endeavour on a massive scale. Sources reveal that MCC loses lakhs of litres of water every single day due to leaking pipes, but no one cares about it. And, worse is that MCC does not seem to have an immediate plan to cut down that figure. And while I was busy interacting with the auto-drivers getting more details on the leakage, I think one of the city workers went and closed the water valve-and the leakage stopped. How nice to fool someone!
Seems like on this water leakage near Wenlock hospital, MCC does not have a system to find and plug leakages. The corporation is making long-term plans to bring additional water to the city from other sources, but it should first curb the loss by controlling leakages and pipe bursts. Time is running out -Does Mangaluru have enough water to waste like this one? Hope that the new Mayor will at least look into this situation, and solve the water leakage problem. Save water! Plug the leakage!