One river dried, Agartala eyes another

Tripura capital plans to get water from 70 km

THE Tripura government plans to transport water to Agartala from the Gumati river, which is 70-km away, through a water conduit. This is to meet the water shortage faced by about 500,000 people in Agartala. But the project has run into controversy.
The state government justified the Rs 665 crore project saying Howrah river, the main drinking water source of the city, was drying up. Environmentalists accused the state government of getting its priorities wrong. They said the money should be spent on reviving Howrah river. Diversion of Gumati river will affect farmers living along its banks, they said.
Sumes Chandra Das, chief engineer, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Tripura, said the everyday water requirement of Agartala is about 53 million litres. The Howrah supplies about 25 million litres per day.