Despite running up an expenditure of over Rs 15 crore on a project to supply tertiary treated water to houses measuring one kanal and above in various city sectors, the municipal corporation has found few takers among the residents for getting new connections. Though there are more than 5,000 such houses, residents of only 260 have applied for these connections during the past three years.
The civic body is incurring huge losses in operating four pumping stations to supply treated water, earning only Rs 40 lakh a year against an annual expenditure of around Rs 3.5 crore spent on their maintenance.
Launched in 1990, the project, which was upgraded in 2011, was designed to supply treated water for use in gardens and parks to conserve drinking water. At present the city faces a potable water shortage of 29 million gallons a day (mgd).
According to a senior MC official, of the 10 million gallons a day of sewerage water treated up to the tertiary level only 5 mgd is supplied for watering green areas. “We’re currently supplying tertiary treated water to most house gardens and parks in the city free of cost. Treated water is also being supplied to some big institutions that are charged at the rate of ` 50 per kanal per month,” said RC Diwan, superintending engineer at the public health department.
However, according to MC records, every consumer is charged ` 15 for watering gardens and public parks and the amount is included in the water bill. BJP councillor Satinder Singh, who raised this matter in the MC house, said: “The civic body has failed to persuade city residents to use tertiary treated water”.
WHAT IS TERTIARY TREATED WATER?
After undergoing a chemical treatment and sedimentation process, sewerage water is made suitable for watering lawns and parks as well for irrigating fields. Tertiary treatment is the final cleaning process that improves waste water quality before it is reused or recycled.
HOW TO GET TT WATER CONNECTION?
A resident who wants to get a tertiary treated water supply connection should apply at the office of the area subdivisional officer of the MC’s public health department. The application can be downloaded at the MC website —www.mcchandigarh.gov.in — and well as at e-Sampark centres. The charges include nearly Rs 2,000 for installing pipes and fittings along with a monthly charge of Rs 50 for a house measuring one kanal and above.