24/7 water supply in Guwahati remains uncertain
GUWAHATI: The Guwahati Municipal Corporation’s (GMC) water works wing has been supplying water to Guwahatians since the last 57 years. But the future of the new projects that promise to supply Guwahati with water 24/7 remains uncertain.
Further, the new pipelines have not been linked to the existing network throwing the entire project into another aspect of uncertainty.
A source in GMC said, “It is not yet decided whether our projects will be taken up by Guwahati Jal Board.”
Guwahati Jal Board will be taking up four four water supply projects running simultaneously in Guwahati, namely South West Guwahati Water Supply project funded by Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM), South Central Guwahati Water Supply Project funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), North Guwahati Water Supply Project funded by JICA and South East Guwahati Water Supply Project funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB).
These four projects are yet to be completed and Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) has been postponing the expected completion date since 2016.
It needs reiteration that these new water supply projects are not linked with the GMC water supply project operating in Guwahati since many years.
GMC water works wing has 31,000 water supply connections across Guwahati providing water to a population of 3 lakhs.
This water supply system was commissioned in 1964. The system covers areas like Pan Bazar, Fancy Bazar, Bharalumukh, Shantipur, Aathgaon, Kumarpara, Chatribari, Paltan Bazar, Rehabari, Ulubari, Rajgarh, Lachit Nagar, Pub Sarania, Gandhi Basti, Islampur, B Baruah Road, Solapara, Fatasil Ambari, Kalapahar, some parts of Lal Ganesh, Uzan Bazar, Dighalipukhuri, Lamb Road, Chenikuthi, Kharguli, Nabagraha, Azadpur, Nizarapar (Chandmari), Milanpur, Krishna Nagar, some parts of Government Press Road, some parts of Anuradha Cinema area, Kamakhya town area, Maligaon and Pandu.
There are around 25 water reservoirs located in these areas distributing water to 31,000 households.
The four new GMDA water supply projects also claim that all the above mentioned areas will be covered under the new projects raising a question about what will happen to the existing GMC water supply network.
Meanwhile, the recent leakage at the Gauhati Club rotary has revealed that there are many points in the main pipelines where there are leaks and the GMC personnel are trying to detect them.
A source in the GMC said, “The pipeline is very old and it is difficult for the GMC to maintain the pipelines.”
The GMC water pipelines are made of cast iron (CI) pipes whereas these days ductile pipes (DI) are used, the source said. Therefore, getting the parts of CI pipes in Guwahati becomes difficult.
Also, the expenditure in maintaining the existing GMC water pipelines is more compared to the revenue generated by supplying water.
GMC earns Rs 15 lakhs to Rs 20 lakhs per month from the water bills whereas it has to spend Rs 20 lakhs to Rs 25 lakhs per month in maintaining its pipeline network.
GMC supplies 450 lakh litres of potable water to 3 lakh Guwahatians every day. 30% of Guwahati’s population gets water from the GMC. But the supply is not regular, many residents allege.
A resident of Fancy Bazar said that they get GMC water once a day and sometimes just once in two days.
But the future of these pipelines remains uncertain as the network is not linked with the new water supply projects and the government is yet to decide what will happen to the 57 year old GMC water works wing.