More than 18 months after the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Trust cleared the Pithampur water supply project to lay the pipeline from the Narmada-Kshipra link, there is little progress on the ground.
The project, which will be completed in phases, will involve laying around 28 km of pipeline for providing 90 million litres per day (MLD) water to Pithampur industrial area, Pithampur-Dhar-Mhow investment region and other nearby industrial hubs.
An earlier deadline of March 31, 2016, for completing the first phase of the project has now been pushed back by a couple of years.
While the trust had sanctioned the project in September 2013 and a special purpose vehicle (SPV) was formed more than a year ago, the tendering process has been delayed due to one reason or the other.
Last month, the SPV — Pithampur Jal Prabhandhan Company Ltd — had invited bids to select a consultant for a review of the detailed project report (DPR) and other related works for the improvement of the water supply system for the industrial area.
According to a state industry department official, the last date for the submission of bids is March 11 and further progress will happen only when the consultant is selected. At present, the Pithampur industrial area suffers from acute water shortage every summer when water levels in the reservoirs come down.
As against a demand of 18 MLD (million litres per day) of water in Pithampur industrial area, the government claims that piped water supply is about 11.5 MLD. However, the industry association puts the figure at 8 MLD, and says it is able to recycle about 5 MLD water and meets the gap by using water tankers.With the summer approaching, Pithampur Audyogik Sangathan has expressed concerns over the delay in the DMIC water supply project and raised doubts about its funding.
“The Narmada-Kshipra link water supply has been marked as an early bird project under DMIC, but it’s surprising that there was no mention of the Pithampur investment zone in the union budget, even as `1,200 crore was allocated for DMIC projects in Gujarat and Maharashtra,” association president Gautam Kothari said. The state industry department officials say the delay has been due to unavoidable reasons.
“The tendering process has been delayed due to the general elections last year and due to the corrections carried out in the DPR. We have invited bids for a consultant, who will see to it that the project is implemented in accordance with the plan within the stipulated time,” the official said.