What studies? JNU residents worry over water

May 29th, 2009 - 12:48 pm ICT by IANS  

By Azera Rahman and Amrah Ashraf
New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) The water trickles in for only an hour a day and those who need more queue near tankers, bucket in hand. This is not a scene from a slum or a deprived village, but in the campus of the premier Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in south Delhi.

While water shortage is a problem throughout the year in JNU, the last two months when the mercury level has been soaring has been especially difficult for the students, teachers and others staffers who stay on campus.

Reshma Hasan, a student doing her M.Phil in political science in JNU, said that although they suffer throughout the year, the problem aggravates during summers when the water consumption increases.

“The water crisis has been there for ages. Ask us how much we suffer throughout the year. But the severity of the problem increases with the onset of summer. Usually, we get water for two hours twice a day but during summers the water supply is cut to just an hour and that too in low pressure,” Hasan told IANS.

With temperatures soaring and no long term solution in sight, the shortfall is compensated by water tankers. So professors and their family members queuing up with buckets is not a rare sight in JNU.

A faculty member said: “Sometimes there is no water in the campus for days altogether and we have to queue up with buckets in front of the tankers which, mind you, is not a rare occasion.”

What irks most of the university residents even more is that while JNU remains waterless, surrounding areas like Katwaria sarai do not seem to be facing the problem to the same extent.

“It is extremely annoying because we know that the neighbouring areas like Katwaria Sarai have regular water supply, even during summers, while we face such crisis everyday,” said Anusuya Verma, a student.

According to the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) - the government agency responsible for supplying water in the capital - the main reason for water scarcity in JNU is the fast increasing population of Delhi, and everybody needs water.

DJB spokesperson Sanjam Cheema told IANS: “Delhi is expanding at an exponential rate while our water supply is fixed and limited. We cannot manufacture water but it is our endeavour to efficiently manage the limited resource (water) and fulfil a humanitarian goal - water for all.”

Cheema said that they are doing all they can to counter the problem by building underground reservoirs to store water underground and promote rainwater harvesting.

Much to the dismay of the JNU residents, she refused to acknowledge the water crisis there, saying: “Isn’t an hour’s water supply enough for everyone?”

(Azera Rahman can be contacted at azera.p@ians.in)

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