It is just the beginning of summer. Yet clamour over inadequate water supply has begun surfacing in different parts of the capital city.
Statistically, the Patna municipal corporation-run pumping stations are supplying surplus water to the township with an estimated 14 lakh souls. The stations pumps ensure, that each resident in Patna gets eat leastf 150 litre of water per day.
The quantum of water pumped is actually higher than the national standard per capita consumption of 135 litre per day.
Ironically, most of the localities relying heavily on piped supply are facing rationingof water with the first upward movement of the Celsius, and the clamour only grows.
Officials of the PMC claim, water supply has been increased following complaints of scarcity in some areas, especially Patna City. Shashank Shekhar, who looks after water unit of the PMC, said that 12 more pumping stations have been made operational in addition to 87 already working, in view of likely shortage of water in the last couple of days.
As per an estimate, PMC borewells are extracting about 375 million litres of water per day. However, officials admit, about 45-46% of water is lost in the transit due to leakage.
Citing internal reports, tabled at recent meeting of PMC standing committee, officials said, main supply lines are facing leakage at more than 460 points across the capital. The situation has been accentuated further in recent weeks due to excessive pressure.
However, repair works could not start due to procedural wrangles. The present level of supply is sufficient to ensure that adequate quantum of water is reached to each and every house within the network of water supply. At present, about 60% localities of the state capital is networked, while the rest have their own arrangements based on groundwater.
Admitting to flaws in the system, urban development minister Prem Kumar recently inspected several pumping stations in the state capital and directed the officials to keep them going at all cost.
Serious leakages were found at many places like Mithapur, Kankerbagh, etc, areas and officials have been instructed to replace the damaged portion with high capacity pipes, said the minister.
In keeping with the concerns of depleting ground water table, the department has approved Rs 523 crore plan to augment water supply system of the city and its outskirts. The proposal envisages lifting of water from the river Ganga also and raising high capacity water towers in each of the 72 municipal wards.
Also, the Bihar urban infrastructure development corporation (Buidco) has been tasked to execute the project, which also involves setting up of water treatment plants and constructing overhead reservoirs.
An official of Buidco said, work on the proposed water supply project has been started and it would become operational by next year. The project would also put a flow measuring unit to record quantity of consumption by each house, he added.