Stark North-South divide marks Chandigarh’s water supply

Inequitable supply a major challenge to round-the-clock supply, says report
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Published on Dec 30, 2019 12:45 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By

The detailed project report (DPR) for executing 24x7 water supply project in Chandigarh has revealed a major North-South divide.

The project is being implemented by Chandigarh Smart City Limited (CSCL). The report is to be tabled for discussion during the municipal corporation’s General House meeting on
Monday.

According to the report, per capita water consumption in northern sectors (1 to 29) is as high as 500 litres per day, about three times the recommended norms of the Union ministry of urban development.

On the other hand, southern sectors (30-56) are receiving just 150 to 250 litres per capita per day (LPCD) of water. The average cumulative consumption of the city varies between 220 and 230 LPCD. The report proposes uniform supply of 150 LPCD across the city to meet the central guidelines. With the execution of the project, CSCL also expects to save almost 1 lakh kilolitre of water (one KL has 1000 litres) per day.

According to the report, a large number of houses in northern sectors are using potable drinking water for irrigating their lawns, whereas there is low water supply in southern sectors and the city’s periphery.

“This phenomenon is leading to an imbalance in water usage, and is a major challenge for the 24x7 water supply target under this project,” it mentions.

DISTRIBUTION FAULTY

The report says that the current situation of the city’s distribution network is poor, resulting in an inequitable distribution between northern and southern sectors. It says that the city’s water distribution system has many direct tappings, which are feeding specific areas, and there is a need for an overall restructuring.

According to the report, the MC in the past constructed new underground water reservoirs and laid new pipelines, but there is still a need to integrate distribution system to ensure balanced water supply in all corners of the city.

The project once executed will ensure equitable and sustainable round-the-clock distribution system apart from effective utilisation of present supply and augmentation of resources through leakage reduction, says the DPR.

TWO-PHASE EXECUTION

The project will cost 500 crore and 90% of the funds will be met through a soft loan from French Development Agency, a public financial institution.

The MC General House, which has given its in-principle approval to the project, will discuss the DPR in detail and the project’s overall execution, which as per the report is divided into two phases.

In the first phase, the focus will be on upgrading existing and constructing new underground reservoirs, repairing, strengthening and replacing transmission pipelines, installing isolation valves, replacing domestic meters with automated ones and implementing better water distribution trackers. In the second stage, focus will be on creation of virtual network models and identification of problem points.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Vivek Gupta is a senior correspondent at Chandigarh. He covers Panchkula, besides writing on medical education.

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