More wells mean less water in Chhyasal, Patan

Lalitpur, February 10:

The adage “The more the merrier” doesn’t always apply. Take the case of locals of Chhyasal ward 9 who rely on Chhysa Hiti stone spouts for daily water needs and who are facing a shortage for the last six months. According to some in the know, the water flow from these spouts decreased ever since people at Chican Bahi began digging new wells and made the existing ones deeper.

According to irked locals, a spot in Chican Bahi roughly 15 metres away from the Chhysa spouts is the source that feeds these spouts. After people began building houses and digging more wells in this area, the water crisis worsened.

“We are sure the problem has arisen due to the growing number of wells,” said Asha Kaji Byanjankar, a Chhyasal local and representative of the Chhyasal Tole Sudhar Committee. Byanjankar added they monitored 20 households in Chican Bahi and found electric water pumps installed above the wells to pump up water.

“Some people have dug wells that are as deep as 52 feet. As long as the depth of the wells was 20 feet, it had not affected us much,” said Asha Kaji, adding that they had never had to face such severe water shortage in winter even though the pipe lines have stopped supplying water for the last three years.

“Though it is believed that Chican Bahi is the source that feeds the spouts here, we have no evidence. But locking up some of the wells has increased the flow of water here,” he added.

Sanu Maiya Shrestha, another local at Chhyasal, said they have to wait for hours in the line to collect water. She said that earlier it took only 5 seconds to fill a pot, but now it takes 80 seconds.

The Chhyasal Tole Sudhar Committee decided to not to dig wells in their locality within 15 meters of the periphery of the Chhyasa stone spouts and the members have been adhering to it, said Byanjankar.

On the other hand, the Saptapur Mahabihar Committee, Chican Bahi, made an

agreement ocality not to dig wells in its locality within 100 metres of the water source but has not toed the line.

Niyam Raj Shakya, a local at Chican Bahi disagreed. “Digging more wells does not mean that we use more water, the water consumption is the same,” said Shakya. He added that they have dug wells because people do not get water from pipe lines. The water table has dropped everywhere and the Chhyasa spouts are no exception, he said. Chhyasal folk said 10,000 people in wards 7, 9, 11 and neighbouring places rely on the spouts.