SHILLONG, July 7 � With a daily average leakage of ten million litres of water and poor water harvesting methods, the State capital is facing water shortage, especially in areas with a floating population of students.
The Public Health Engineering (PHE) department now wants the government to change its present rule of allotting water connection to individual household units to individual families.
Although water loss from the intake to the out-take source is a universal phenomenon, but PHE wants to stop people drawing water through �illegal means� from its Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme (GSWSS) distribution pipe running from Mawphlang to Shillong, adding to its leakages.
In the State capital, water is supplied to the people by the PHE department and the Shillong Municipal Board. However, water crisis remains a major concern in many localities, especially in Laitumkhrah, Nonthymmai and Malki having a huge student floating population.
One of the reasons for the illegal connections is the present rule which allows one water connection for a household unit. With people letting out their households on rent in the State capital, the single water connection does not suffice for the people dwelling in it. Therefore, illegal means are adopted to draw water.
Having a word of sympathy, Chief Engineer PHE, H Prasad said: �People cannot do without water and so they are drawing it through illegal means.�
�We would suggest to the government that water connection should be given according to the number of families residing in a household unit. Then we can implement the metering system and people would pay according to the water drawn,� Prasad added.
The Chief Engineer said that GSWSS phase III would be completed next year and the scheme would cater to the water supply needs of an additional three lakh people in Greater Shillong. The project is being implemented at a cost of Rs 193 crore.
Prasad said the PHE department is discussing with local traditional heads so that the department can use �bigger ductile iron pipe� from Mawphlang to the State capital. The department would also try to create awareness on the water meter system, which could be used for GSWSS phase III, he added.