BAGLUNG, May 26: Locals of Baglung municipality have been facing water crisis after cracks appeared in one of the major reservoirs that supplies them water.
A 500,000 liter reservoir, which was built some 15 years ago, had first developed cracks two years ago. Baglung Water Drinking Water Consumers´ Committee had repaired the reservoir. However, in recent months, water has seeped out of the tank, leading to water crisis in Baglung.
Also, the cracked reservoir has posed a serious threat to more than 60 households living underneath the water tank. “Cracks are irreparable,” said Jagdish Chandra Upadhyay, secretary of a committee formed to probe the damage. “The reservoir can collapse any time. In such a situation, people living just underneath the tank can be swept away.”
According to Upadhyay, the reservoir developed cracks mainly because of substandard materials used for its construction. Similarly, the pressure of heavy traffic along the Baglung-Burtibang road above and frequent movements of vehicles on a road just beneath the tank have also caused damage to the reservoir. The tank has been built in a little flat area on a steep hill.
About Rs 7 million has been spent in repairing the reservoir. However, after the probe committee ruled out the feasibility of further repairs, locals living around the cracked town are growing fearful. “We need a new water tank,” said Upadhyay.
To avoid any untoward incident, the probe committee has recommended that the Drinking Water and Sanitation Committee, which oversees the overall supply of water in the town, supply water directly to consumers through the main pipe. However, Himal Sharma, manager of the water committee, says the water crisis is likely to worsen further if they did so.
Bishnu Bahadur Thapa, local development officer of Baglung, says they have decided to ask the Prime Minister Relief Fund for help to construct an alternative reservoir. “We failed to solve the problem at the local level,” he said.