Drinking water crisis is worsening in Bhaktapur district by the day with taps running dry and no pre-monsoon rain in sight.
Compounding the woes of residents is the receding groundwater levels.
Months have gone by since the Sirutar Drinking Water Consumers Committee last supplied drinking water to Sirutar in the Ananta Lingeswhor Municipality–6 in Bhaktapur, forcing residents to travel five kilometres to fetch water.
The women here routinely board passenger buses to travel to Biruwa to fetch water as the wells and traditional spouts have gone dry.
Ramita Shrestha, a resident of Sirutar, said she had been bringing drinking water from Biruwa for the last one month.
A committee member, however, said the problem arose as the committee distributed more taps than the actual capacity of their tank.
He also said that there were irregularities in the distribution of taps. Requesting anonymity, the member further disclosed that Rs 1 million had been embezzled in the committee.
On the other hand, committee chairman Achyut Mishra maintained that broken pipes, which led to leakage, was the main cause behind the scarcity.
Meanwhile, residents of Tathali area of Nagarkot municipality travel three kilometers to fetch potable water.
The traditional water taps that were regularly supplying water have gone dry since last month after locals of the upper region stopped the flow downhill due to scarcity.
Locals of Chyamasingh in Bhaktapur travel to Kamal Binayak for water. A local, Prativa Bala, said she spends the entire morning to fetch a bucket full of water.
The six municipalities in Bhaktapur district are facing acute water crisis due to the prolonged drought. The problem has been aggravated due to receding groundwater levels.
Anup Kasula of Sipadole in Surya Binayak said wells had dried up in his village this year. Private water suppliers have also increased the cost of drinking water due to scarcity.
Rakesh Shrestha, of Shankerdhar Chowk, Thimi, who sells bottled water, is currently charging Rs 70 for a jar of water and Rs 20 for a bottle.
The cost of a tanker of water, which cost Rs 1,500 to 2,000 earlier, has now climbed to Rs 3,500.