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Water at dirt cheap rate for builders

india Updated: May 21, 2013 01:42 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja

At a time when the city is reeling under an acute water crisis, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) is busy selling water to private developers at dirt cheap rates.

To make matters worse, the authority has been claiming that it doesn’t have enough canal water, which is supplied to New Gurgaon localities such as DLF City, Sushant Lok, Southcity and Huda sectors.

HT has found that Huda sells about 40 lakh litre of water – sourced from the Sector 16 boosting station and Chandu Budhera plant — on a daily basis.

Sample this: Huda sells treated water to builders for its workers’ drinking use at the rate of 1 paisa per litre as against the cost of treatment of 14 paisa. This means it sells a water tanker of 5,000 litre capacity at the rate of R50.

The market price of a tanker of the same capacity would set a common man back by at least R500.

Huda sells water to builders for two purposes — for construction purpose and the drinking needs of the workers.

Every day, hundreds of water tankers can be seen leaving the Sector 16 boosting station and Chandu Budhera treatment plant that supply water for drinking use and construction work respective.

The decision to sell water to developers came earlier this year when the Punjab and Haryana High Court asked the state government not to issue licences to developers who were using groundwater for construction purposes.

The developers’ lobby had contended that it was Huda’s responsibility to provide water for construction as it had charged external development charges (EDC) running into thousands of crores.

“Huda supplies around 16 million gallon per day (MGD) water from the Sector 16 boosting station on daily basis to the New Gurgaon localities as against the demand of 60MGD. The deficit is met through groundwater extraction,” said Raman Sharma, a resident of Malibu Town and an RTI activist.

Huda officials justified their action by saying that it was their responsibility to provide water to developers and that it didn’t affect the supply to city residents.

The authority is currently selling gallons of raw as well as treated canal water to developers for their 167 construction sites.