Residents of Dharan, reeling under shortage of drinking water, have been forced to walk long distances to fetch water or use untreated water from local rivulets.
Though there is a demand for 20 million litres of drinking water in the municipality everyday, Nepal Drinking Water Corporation has only been able to supply 12.2 million litres.
The corporation, which used to supply drinking water to city households twice every day, now has begun distributing water once a day given the dry season. “Although the authorities claim they are supplying water once a day, I haven’t been able to get a single drop for the past three days,” lamented Buddhimaya Magar, a local. She said she has to walk for two hours along the Charkose forest on the Itahari-Dharan road section to fetch water.
Similar is the plight of Asma Magar of Langhalichowk, who says she has been fetching water from the Charkose forest for the last five days.
The water shortage has been worse in ward No 1, 7, 8, 9, 15 and 18.
Most of the people here have started drinking untreated water from nearby streams. “The concerned authority supplies water once a day but that is not enough even to fill a pitcher,” said Gajendra Isbo. “We reported our plight to the concerned authority, but to no avail.”
Nepal Water Corporation Officer Devraj Shrestha said the distribution system was under stress as water sources have dried up this summer. Currently, the corporation is supplying drinking water through 304 public and 14,076 private taps in the city home to two lakh people.