Water crises in Jammu; All eyes on Chenab Water Project for hope

Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu, May 15: In just the begenning of the summer season the Jammu region is facing acute water shortage and as per a rough estimate there is shortage of 2 million gallons of water.

The strike by PHE workers has further added to the woes of the residents and with temperature rising in the days to come the demand for water is going to increase in Jammu and will be the problems for people. The problem of water shortage is particularly acute in hilly and kandi belt of this region but even the main Jammu city is facing acute shortage of water.

To meet the water shortage while the government is planning to build more tube wells but those in know of things
opine that the permanent solution to the water shortage in Jammu is to build a water supply from Chenab river to
the city. Building tube wells is a short term measure which affects the underground water table negatively. The PHE
claims to supply 45 mgd water to Jammu but the demand is much more as the city has witnessed fast urbanization.

PHE officials say that while they are working towards reducing the shortfall there is also need to use water wisely
and to ensure that it is not wasted in washing floors, cars, and gardening using potable water could put further
pressure on the water supply.

To augment supply 12 tube wells in Jammu city have been already dug and the work is likely to complete by the end of the year but this means shortage will continue this summer.
Long power cuts in Jammu also lead to erratic water supply as PHE booster stations and tubewells remain non-
functional during this time. The department officials said that they become helpless if the power supply is cut-off

However they also admit that the permanent solution for water shortage in Jammu is the Chenab project that aims to
bring in water from Chenab river to Jammu city. While Asian Development Bank refused loan for this project, a
Japanese agency has come forward to finance this project, government officials said. This project will ensure that
water could be supplied to Jammu till 30 more years.

It is time for the government of Jammu and Kashmir to take an early decision on the Chenab project that will
ensure that future of Jammu is secured as far as availability of water is concerned.