Even as the municipal corporation has proposed a steep hike in water tariff to generate revenue, its decision to construct a pumping station at Jandpur village in SAS Nagar at a cost of Rs 28 crore has drawn criticism from technical experts. The issue pertains to bringing extra 40 Million Gallon Daily (MGD) from Kajauli waterworks to Sector-39. An MGD is 45 lakh litres and the new supply will have ensured 24*7 water supply to the city.
“The civic body could have saved at least Rs 20 crore, had officers done their homework. What was needed was the upgrade of pumping mechanism at Kajauli that could have been done at a cost of around Rs 8 crore,” said SK Bansal, former MC chief engineer.
“Even now, to supply 20 MGD each, water is directly being supplied from Kajauli to Sector-39 water works. Just because it is 40 MGD, MC officers have gone in for the extra expense. As of now, it will definitely be an extra burden on MC. Even now, the decision can be reconsidered,” he added.
Last week, MC had allotted this work to a Hisar-based company for construction of pump house, underground reservoirs and installation of machinery at Jandpur village in SAS Nagar. Ultimately, water is to be pumped from Jandpur to Sector-39 Waterworks.
Experts said that another issue that had been allegedly ignored by officers has been the role of Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), the authority, that is responsible for supply from Kajauli waterworks near Morinda to Jandpur village under Phases 5 and 6 of the water supply programme.
- Supply: 80 MGD
- Demand: 116 MGD
- Gap: 36 MGD
- * million gallons per day (MGD). 1 MGD is 45 lakh litres
“The problem would not even have risen had GMADA installed motors of higher capacity so that water could have been pumped directly to the Sector-39 waterworks. This will have meant that there would have been no need to upgrade the Jandpur facility, translating into a saving of Rs 20 crore,” said former nominated councillor Surinder Bahga, who is also an architect.
“Now, also, the MC has not gone in for upgrade of Kajauli machinery, but chosen to create a new pumping station at Jandpur. This involves an additional cost of `20 crore,” he added, claiming that the cost will ultimately be borne by city residents in the form of increased tariff.
“GMADA officers should have planned better and installed water motors at Kajauli of higher capacity. This negligence merits an inquiry,” said RK Jaidka, retired superintending engineer from GMADA.
“We have had to work as per the laid-down specifications and the rules given to us. The project was conceived by GMADA. However, we are still open to discussing the matter with independent experts,” said NP Sharma, MC chief engineer.