SANGAM GHARTI MAGAR/Republica Baglung Bazar area residents line up at a community water tap in this recent picture.
BAGLUNG, March 18: With the arrival of summer, drinking water woes have begun to hit Baglung residents. The problem is worse in Baglung Bazar, where the population is dense.
“Drinking water is not easily available. What could be more saddening than that?" questioned Saru Pun, who lives in a rented room in Baglung Bazar. “It gets worse on the day when the water does not run through the public water tap,” he added.
Residents of Baglung Bazar area have been suffering due to a shortage of drinking water supply in the area. Officials concerned say that the supply has been affected because of floods and debris from a road constructed near the water source.
During the past few days, locals of the Baglung Bazar and surrounding area did not get water through the local taps. Natural water sources are far away. According to Pun, water tanks do not offer water for sale either in the area.
Baglung Nagar Drinking Water Corporation is responsible for supplying water to the district headquarter. However, water taps running dry during this season is not a new experience for the locals, they say.
“It worsens in summer. In winter, they somehow manage to provide water to public taps,” said Pun.
After they did not get water on Sunday and Monday through the public water taps, locals on Tuesday travelled to distant water sources to fetch water. Locals from the market area and elsewhere were seen thronging to Tityang and other areas.
“There is no water in Shreenagar Tole, Uppallochaur and Guthi Buspark area. People are suffering,” said Pun. He added that a jar of water costs Rs 65, but that is also not available easily.
When there is no water for even washing or cleaning, locals are forced to buy drinking water jars for such purposes also. This turns out to be very costly even if you can purchase water, Pun noted.
Also according to Tul Kumari Rana of Guthi area, the water crisis has completely upset the daily lives of the people. “In some places, the public water taps have been running dry for over a week. Here also, our taps have been dry for five days now,” she said on Wednesday.
Rana stated that every household has been affected by the water crisis. “Due to the shortage, children have been not able to attend school, adults have been not able go to work here,” she said. “I went across the bridge and fetched a bucket of water. But it's not possible to transport all our my family's water requirement for such distance?” she lamented.
Purna Kala Thapa of Baglung Bazar complained that the government has not taken notice of such a severe problem. “When there is a human settlement, the government must ensure that it has the basic facilities. But look at our government, it has not taken notice of our situation,” she said.
She made some calls to the corporation's office to inquire about the shortage and was informed by its officials that the problem would be solved soon. “But they didn't say when that would be. I don't feel that they were serious about the assurance they provided,” she said.
Manager at the corporation, Himal Sharma stated that the scarcity was due to floods. “Yes, there is a shortage of water in the area. But it is not due to mismanagement,” he said. “Floods, triggered by unseasonal rain in the recent weeks, have entered the water source area from where we pump water. This has affected the water supply,” he added.
Apart from the flooding near the water source, Sharma said that debris resulting from road construction around the water source has also further polluted the water source. “But we are serious about the problem people are facing and trying our best to address it at the earliest,” he said