With the onset of summer, the groundwater level has started declining in Thar Desert
Tharparkar has over 2400 villages with hardly 1000 having potable water facility to some extent
By GR Junejo
Mithi: While the people of Tharparkar are confined to their homes under the strict lockdown clamped down by the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus, severe problem of water scarcity has surfaced with onset of summer, as the groundwater level has started declining across the desert district.
Foreseeing the acuteness of the issue in the days ahead during the scorching weather, the youths of desert district have launched a trend on Twitter to draw the attention of government for taking necessary measures for ensuring the provision of water to remote settlements of Thari people, who still are devoid of such facilities.
The Tharparkar district has over 2400 villages and of them hardly one thousand villages have the facility of potable water provided under different schemes by the government and non-government organizations. Rest of the villages had to depend on traditional wells, and during the hot weather the water level drastically declines, causing the problem for people. The groundwater level in desert area varies from eight to sixty meters, and it further goes down when there are no rains during the summer season.
Even the areas, where the Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants were installed, would be facing water shortage, as some 250 RO plants out of around 800 plants are non-functional due to various reasons. During the PPP government 634 RO plants were installed in Tharparkar but unfortunately all the seven hundred operators have not been paid the salaries since last several months.
Some water supply schemes, launched by the government are left incomplete, which include Chelhar water supply line. Even the Nagarparkar, the remote town, has no water supply system yet as the water supply line had been left incomplete near village Wadhrai. The residents of Nagarparkar still depend on water supplied to them by Town Committee fetching from the wells. Surprisingly, no water supply system has so far been developed here despite having several small dams built around to store the rainwater.
Some of the villages get the water from tanks built near the Naukot-Mithi and Naukot-Diplo water supply lines. This way, a large number of desert villages have no water supply system and they depend on wells, located at certain distance from the villages, and the womenfolk and children have to walk to bring the water.
In such a scenario, the youths have become proactive to get the steps taken by the government before the situation worsens further.