HT, 3 Jul 2016, DARJEELING: Darjeeling MLA Amar Rai has claimed that in the Hill town, the problem is not one of shortage of water but storage of water. The MLA suggested that the construction of a fourth lake (reservoir) at Sinchal will solve the problem. 
At present, the water distribution system of Darjeeling town comprises three main reservoirs at Sinchal, around 10 km from Darjeeling town, from where the water through main distribution pipes in Aloobari is pumped into the three main distribution tanks in town. One is at St Paul’s School and the other at Rockville from where water is distributed throughout the town.
Sinchal has three lakes. 
The North Lake has a depth of 26 feet and retains 20 million gallons, the South Lake has a depth of 22-anda-half feet and retains 13 million gallons of water. The third lake at Sindhaph can hold 12 million gallons which is one-third of its capacity – the remaining is not filled due to heavy seepage.
The North and South Sinchal Lakes, built in the 1920s, used to provide water to Darjeeling town when its population was 10,000. At present, the population of the town has crossed the one lakh mark. 
“The water scarcity only occurs during the dry spell from November to March. During monsoon, there is excess water which is wasted owing to the lack of storage facilities. If this excess water can be stored, the water scarcity during the dry spell can be mitigated,” suggested Rai. 
Rai was presenting his views in the state Assembly on Friday. Rai said that the public health engineering (PHE) department of Bengal had mooted the idea of constructing a fourth reservoir in Sinchal in 2007. The fourth lake would also store the water pumped from the Balasun river.