ILAM, July 20: Ilam district headquarter is face severe shortage of drinking water after landslides in Maimajhuwa Village Development Committee (VDC) destroyed drinking water pipelines on Monday night.
Landslides at two places near the source of the supply destroyed a tank and over 100 meters of pipeline.
Ilam municipality office, which has been managing the water supply, said repair works could not be carried out due to difficulties in reaching the area. “It is virtually impossible to reach there due to incessant rainfall. We can just observe the wreck from a distance,” chief of drinking water section at the municipality Dinesh Kafle said.
Drinking water is supplied to the town from Gitang source in Maimajhuwa 31 kilometers away. As a temporary measure untreated water was supplied from Thadekhola of Maimajhuwa and Bhandikhola of Sumbek on Tuesday.
“We know the water from Thadekhola is not fit for drinking but we have been forced to supply the impure water for now,” Kafle added. He revealed that the tank at Maipokhari does not have any system for purification and the municipality had issued notices to the public to boil the water before drinking.
The water supplied from Thadekhola only meets half the daily demand. Hoteliers in the town say they are contemplating shutting down the hotels due to lack of drinking water.
The locals, who have been facing water scarcity for years, have been harder hit by the recent landslides. The municipality for its part blamed regular damage to pipeline and lack of resources for repair the persistent problem.
The government had upgraded the facility at Sumbek in 1977 after the Bhandikhola project constructed in 1937 could not supply enough water. JICA invested to upgrade the project further but people of town continued to face water scarcity until the government started to supply water from Gitang in 1996. But even the supply from Gitang has been insufficient to meet the rising demands of the swelling population.