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City’s water crisis rocks House meet

chandigarh Updated: Jun 24, 2015 12:05 IST
HT Correspondent

In the MC House meeting that lasted for three hours, municipal councillors on Tuesday lashed out at the officers concerned over water shortage in the city. They alleged that the officers were not taking the issue seriously, to which the officers failed to give a satisfactory reply.

Finally it was decided that chairman, water supply committee, Major DS Sandhu (retd), along with the officers, will prepare a report and submit it within 15 days.

Nominated councillor Surinder Bahga recommended that the city’s water supply system should be privatised and highlighted that 25% water goes waste in leakages.

Former mayor Subhash Chawla said, “A report on water supply system was prepared in 2013, which had several suggestions to tackle the issue, but till date nothing has been done.”

Another nominated councillor Major DS Sandhu (retd) said, “The MC’s tertiary treated (TT) project has completely failed as out of 30 million gallon daily (MGD) TT water, there is a requirement of only 7 MGD and rest is going waste.”

While replying to queries, MC chief engineer Mukesh Anand admitted that the MC had water storage facility just for half a day as they do not have enough sedimentation and storage tanks in Sector 39 water works. He also admitted that 25% of water goes waste in leakages.

Anand failed to reply when MC councillors confronted him by saying that during their visit to Sector 39 water works they found that some water tanks were damaged and there was around 30 acres of land to keep for new storage tanks. Chandigarh receives 80 MGD water at present. With the demand reaching 116 MGD during peak summers (May to July), the shortage reaches as high as 36 MGD.

Why MC is to be blamed

No action taken to check water pressure: The MC had assured the UT administration that excess per capita supply would be curtailed sector-wise and that pressure gauges would be installed at various locations, but nothing has been done so far.

20 MGD goes waste in leakages: The public health department has failed to check water leakage during supply hours. The maximum wastage is in colonies and villages. According to official records, 20MGD water, which can cater to around 48,000 houses, goes waste due to leakages daily.

No check on internal water supply distribution system: While experts had advised the MC to streamline the system, officers did not bother to take any step in this regard. The staff on duty is not even aware of how to adjust the distribution.

Tertiary treated water supply project a failure: Three years back, the MC had assured that it would streamline the project. However, the ground reality is quite contrary. The `15-crore TT project was commissioned to cater to houses of one kanal and above (nearly 4,000) in the city, but only 500 connections have been allotted to date. Councillors said the MC had failed to make residents aware about the same.

Suggestions by councillors

Water supply should be privatised as it is working well in most countries
Water tankers should be available in worst-affected sectors as emergency relief
Unmetered water should be metered to avoid wastage
Popularise hand pumps for using its water for washing and other purposes
Water audit should be done every year to know the exact supply
Mapping of water pipes should be done as staff is not aware of internal distribution system