Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Residents complain of water crisis in Bidar

Most households depend on tankers for water

Most parts of Bidar’s old city are suffering from severe water scarcity. Residents of areas like Noor Khan Taleem complain that they get tap water only once in three weeks. Most households depend on tankers for drinking water.

Low rainfall in the last two seasons seems to have dried up open wells. Manjra river that supplied water to the city since 1980 has dried up. Water level in the Karanja reservoir, from where water is pumped to the city, has fallen drastically.

Houses, offices, shops and other institutions are all having a hard time. The mosque in Patal Nagari has put up a board asking believers to perform wazoo (washing hands and feet before prayers) at home. Long queues of women and children are seen before mini water supply tanks. Quarrels for water are a common sight.

“Only children in my family are getting a bath everyday. Others keep skipping baths for days,” Waifa Ashraf, a resident of Gole Khana, said. Ayesha Begum, of Quadriapura, has paid Rs. 800 for a tanker of drinking water. “If you bargain with him, he won’t come here next time,” she said.

Water supply
The demand and supply mismatch has turned some young men into entrepreneurs. Wasif Ahmed, who dropped out of a diploma course, has bought a luggage auto and fitted it with a water tanker. He gets Rs. 400 to supply 2,000 litres of water.

Residents complain that indiscriminate digging of borewells has added to their problems. Murjtaba Hussein, who lives near Pansal Taleem, complains that his well dried up after the City Municipal Council dug two borewells within 10 metres of his well. “There are 440 borewells in Bidar, servicing a population of around 3 lakh. This is not sustainable,” Shashikant Malli, District Urban Development Cell engineer said.

No one is following the government’s regulation that there should be a gap of at least 100 metres between two bore wells. Legislators, CMC members and some resident associations pressurise officials into digging borewells, he said.

He also points out that residents have no awareness about sustainable methods like rain water harvesting to recharge open wells. Stake holders seem to be playing the blame game. People blame the CMC. CMC members blame the district administration and the district administration is blaming the rain gods.

“The groundwater here is naturally brackish. There is no source of sweet water anywhere here. What can I do? I cannot create water in my backyard,” Abdul Sawood, CMC member, said. District officials said water impounded in Karanja reservoir was around 1.5 tmcft. Early rains will solve a lot of problems, a senior officer said.

Manjra river, open wells have dried up

Water level in Karanja reservoir has fallen drastically

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Saturday, May 9, 2015

New multiplex for Bidar

Bidar is getting its own multiplex cinema.

The town with four cinema theatres will add four more screens with the inauguration of Sapna Multiplex on BVB college road on Friday.

The four screens can beam eight films in a day, said a release by Chandrashekar Patil, Managing director.

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Chance find turns out to be fake

Coins found at the kalyani of Paapansh Temple in Bidar.– Photo: By Arrangement

Old copper coins found in a kalyani in Bidar throws light on an ancient art of conning people

How old do you think is the trade of conning people by making fake coins? If some coins found in Bidar are any indication, it is at least 134 years old.

A few months ago, labourers digging a kalyani (temple pond) near Paapnaash temple found scores of copper coins dating back to the 1880s. Or so they thought. Delighted at finding a treasure, they ran away, taking a handful of coins. Only some pieces left at the bottom of the pond were noticed by temple committee members.

Some of the coins had the writing ‘VITCTORIA COE, 1881’. The name of the country was spelt ‘INDA’ with the ‘I’ conspicuous by its absence. On the obverse side, they had inscriptions in Persian. Some others had the writing ‘VIKTORIA. DG. BRITANIA’. On the obverse side, was a hand-drawn design.

No one could confirm the authenticity of these coins and this reporter had to send their images to the Directorate of Epigraphy, Persian and Arabic inscriptions, Archaeological Survey of India, Nagpur. The reply was interesting. “They are fakes made from sand moulds,” wrote Ghulamussyedain Khwaja, director of the department.

He further explained, “By 1881, Victorian coins were made by machine-die minting at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. But these seem to be made in sand moulds. The obverse side has a crude copy of the legends of coin of later Mughal king Shah Alam II. This is again incorrect,” Dr. Khwaja said. The name Victoria without the title of queen and the spelling for India are other blatant inaccuracies. Dr. Khwaja clarified that their antiquity could be assessed only after physical examination.

The labourers may have sold the coins to some collectors or kept them safely at home, for a rainy day. Either way they are bound to be disappointed, S.G. Patil, temple committee member, said.

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