Noida fails to hire agency to deliver quality drinking water, residents worried
Residents are worried about the supply of drinking water amid news of Ganga water supply being halted temporarily from October 17 due to cleaning work in the Upper Ganga canal.
The Noida authority has also failed to rope in an agency that is supposed to improve the quality of drinking water in the region for the last three years.
“For the last three years, the Noida authority has failed to hire an agency that can repair or make defunct Ranney wells (a type of radial well used to extract water from an aquifer with direct connection to a surface water source) and tubewells functional, and improve the quality of drinking water. The authority is not supplying quality drinking water as the groundwater here is saline. This festive season, we will have to depend on salty groundwater. We do not understand why the authority is failing on this important issue,” said Amit Gupta, a member of Progressive Community Foundation, a residents’ group in Noida.
The authority, however, issued a tender yet again on Monday to hire an agency for a ₹9 crore project to take care of different water-related works--help treat water, increase the quantity and improve quality of drinking water.
The last date to upload bids for the project is October 20, 2021.
The authority issued a similar tender seven months ago, but no agency applied.
The Noida authority issued a tender for the project for the first time towards the end of 2018. It re-issued the tender in October, 2019. It then invited an expression of interest (EOI) from firms to undertake the supply, installation, operation and maintenance of groundwater (Ranney wells and tube wells) treatment technology to supply potable water within Noida for five years. The authority had hoped to finalise a firm by the end of 2019.
“We are repeatedly trying to rope in private firms, but are yet to succeed because agencies are not applying for the project. We hope this time we will be successful,” said RP Singh, deputy general manager of the Noida authority and head of the water works department.
The present demand for water in Noida is 332mld [million litres per day]. To meet it, the authority supplies 56% Ganga water and 44% groundwater.
There are 11 Ranney wells in Noida, besides hundreds of tubewells. Each Ranney well extracts stored groundwater and supplies it to households as well as other consumers. One Ranney well supplies 18mld water to the city.
“The latest technology can address taste-related issues. The water in Noida is salty and has high levels of TDS [total dissolved solids]. We hope that with new technology, the firm will be able to improve the quality,” Singh.
According to the authority’s water department, five of the 11 Ranney wells are completely shut. And 126 tubewells of the total 431 are not functional due to technical issues. As a result, the supply of groundwater will also be affected during the festive season, troubling residents.
Like last year, when the Ganga water supply was halted for a month around Diwali while the canal was cleaned, the residents will have to make do with groundwater supply only this year as well, said officials.