Acute water shortage in Mizoram
By A Business Correspondent
The drinking water problem in Mizoram in general and in Aizawl in particular is worsening by the day. The state government's efforts to provide drinking water to the people of Mizoram through various programmes have met with limited success. Since most of the state is covered by hills the supply of water through pipelines has also become problematic.
Mizoram has two main reservoirs, one built in 1900 and another in 1953-54. In 1963, the Aizawl Water Supply Scheme was initiated to lift water from river Tlwang to a height of 1,050 m in Tuikhutlang reservoir through seven stages of pumpsets. In 1972, the Greater Aizawl Water Supply Scheme was launched to lift water from Tlwang to meet the water needs of nearly 80,000 people. And, in 1994, another water scheme, Greater Lunglei Water Supply Scheme, was commissioned to lift water to a height of 820 m to feed 60,000 people.
The Greater Aizawl Water Supply Scheme II is the latest project for meeting the ever-increasing water demand in the city. The Rs 176 crore project was started in 1998 with aid from Japan. However, Japan refused to go along with the project as part of its sanctions over the Pokhran blasts, which delayed the implementation of the project. The project is now being implemented at a rapid pace. But, despite all these efforts the government is yet to chalk out a long-term strategy to tackle Mizoram's water problems.