IMPHAL, March 23 � The rivers, ponds and springs are reportedly drying up in the valleys and hills of Manipur even as the State observed World Water Day with the theme �Water and Sustainable Development� on Sunday.
Some water supply plants having intake points at Imphal and Iril rivers in Imphal have stopped operation after the water level of the Imphal and Iril rivers went down below the normal level.
Residents in several localities in the city have started buying water for their daily use. Others have held public meetings urging the government to do the needful. �We�re drawing government�s attention to the water crisis,� says Pradhan Gomti, a resident of Imphal East district. With the dry spell continuing unabated, the water crisis has deepened in Ukhrul town, 84 km north of Imphal, forcing people, specially woman trudging down steep slopes to terrace paddy fields to fetch water.
Acute shortage of water has also hit Tamenglong, another hill station, about 150 km west of Imphal. The rise in population and reduction in the number of ponds/streams are the major reasons for shortage of water, says G Shantikumar Kabui, Sub-Divisional Officer of the district.
Executive Engineer of Public Health Engineering department L Poucharei predicted that after 20 years Tamenglong will face a grave water crisis. �We need to plan for future as we need to preserve the forests.� Meanwhile, a group of youths here staged a campaign. Riding bicycles, they carried placards reading �skip plastic bags�, �save the river�, etc., to spread the awareness on conserving the dying rivers.