Kathmandu, April 17:

At a time when the Valley is reeling under acute shortage of water with the Nepal Drinking Water Corporation (NDWC) able to supply only one-fourth of the total water demand - the Valley needs more than 21 crore litres of water daily - 12 days of general strike, a week of curfews and demonstrations have also hindered supply of drinking water from various private organisations.

Ramkaji Karki of Hotel Dhaulagiri at Sundhara said it is over a week since the hotel last got water from water supply companies. “Guests are having trouble bathing or flushing toilets,” Karki said.

Kusum Shahi of Chundevi said she is buying bottled water to drink. She said she is forced to buy water as the NDWC have failed to supply water to her house. “Since the last five days, I have been buying mineral water to drink and cook,” she added.

Bipinda Hall, managing director of Ganga Khanepani, said his company had been supplying water to regular customers at night except during the curfew. Most other water supply companies said they had been unable to do so.

Chandra Lamsal, managing director of Khangsar Khanepani Sewa, also lamented being unable to supply water since the start of the general strike.

Lamsal said he had no idea about the number of water supply companies in Kathmandu. “There may be about 40,” he hazarded a guess. A staff at Matatirtha Khanepani Dhuwani Udhyog, on condition of anonymity, said the company had cut its telephone line since the beginning of the general strike so that the customers wouldn’t lodge complaints. “We used to send out 15-20 tankers a day, but we are only sending 1-2 tankers of water now,” he added.

Laba Kumar Thapa, general manager of Nepal Drinking Water Corporation, couldn’t be contacted for comment.