Water Worries Haunt Mussoorie

by Toby Smith

Journalist Prachi Raturi Misra is based in Mussoorie and writes regular features for the Times of India Newspaper.

The adage of “Old is gold” does not hold true for the water supply situation in Mussoorie.   Pumping in the hill town started as long back as 1908. Cut to 2016 and Mussoorie still depends entirely on 20 odd local springs and brooklets for its water supply. Most of these resources still have old pumps spread across seven locations that are in urgent need of repair or in some cases replacement.The pumps and transformers go through regular breakdown, bringing the residents as well as the Jal Sansthan under tremendous pressure.

The latest one to get affected was the Jensing pump which supplies water to Kulri and Mall area.”The transformer got burnt and the repair by the electricity department was delayed because of holidays in between. The water pumping was at 50% production for a good five days and finally got repaired on Thursday,” said TS Rawat, assistant engineer at Uttarakhand Jal Sansthan, Mussoorie.While the transformer finally got repaired, the bigger worry is lesser water at sources. “With lack of rain and snowfall this winter, the water sources would be depleted as well and this will only add to the residents’ worries,” said Rawat.

While the existing water supply (7.67 million litres per day) is anyways lower than the peak demand (14.5 MLD), the problem, said Deepak Malik, executive engineer at Peyjal Nigam, will stay till there is no new water source added.What is also worrying the residents is the fact that the tourist season has just about started. “It’s crazy to think what this summer will look like, considering the fact that water problems have already begin. What is worse is that water tankers are called in even in the day, only adding to the traffic problems,” said Shalabh Garg, a local resident.