Locals of Purchaudi Municipality relying on river water for survival

Published On: January 21, 2018 04:33 AM NPT By: Bira Gadal

Locals of Purchaudi Municipality forced to drink river water

BAITADI, Jan 21: It might be hard for some to believe that the locals of Basantapur, which is considered a major market of Purchaudi Municipality of Baitadi, rely on river water for survival.

Six months ago, the drinking water project of the Municipality was damaged, compelling the locals to rely on the water of Baghdad and Loligad rivers. Despite knowing that the river water is contaminated and harmful for health, locals here have no other option to drinking the same. More than two dozen restaurants of Basantapur have been using river water for cooking and other purposes.

Ambadatta Awasthi, the owner of a local pharmacy said that the locals are suffering from various water-borne diseases and infections due to the polluted water from the rivers. “Eating lunch in restaurants is no more a choice," said Awasthi. Before the elections, candidates of various political parties had assured the locals of solving the drinking water problem. However, nothing has been done yet. 

There are taps in every house of ward no.1 but sadly, not a single drop of water drops from them. According to the locals, this situation has arisen due to the passiveness of the Drinking Water and Consumer's Committee. According to Jayanti Bam, vice-chairperson of the Municipality, there has been a problem in supply of drinking water since the establishment of the project. "It has been challenging to supply the water in the pipelines due to the carelessness of consumers," said Bam, adding, "But we are trying our best to solve this problem."  
As the river water will get muddier and dirty in the monsoon, this might result in the outbreak of an epidemic, according to Binod Kunwar, chief of District Public Health Office. Kashi Datta Joshi, a local restaurant owner, laments that they have no other option to using the river water as there is no other source of drinking water nearby.
 Though the locals had expected that their long existing drinking water problem will finally end after the local elections, they were disappointed. With around 40,000 people, this municipality is the most populous one in the district. Unfortunately, it lacks infrastructures and other prerequisites required for a municipality. "We know that our municipality is grappling with various problems and we are trying to solve all of them. But it will take some time," said Rana Bahadur Kunwar, mayor of the municipality.

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