Water water everywhere
Gurugram Providing a much-needed relief to over 100 residential societies and nearly 1.5 lakh residents of newer sectors, located along the peripheral roads, Gurugram augmented its water supply network to cater to the developing sectors of the city this year.
Residents said that they waited for three-four years for getting water supply. However, they hailed the move and said this has also lifted the burden of spending around ₹2-₹3 crore, per society per annum, on procuring water through private tankers.
Sudhir Krishna, a resident of Pioneer Park in Sector 61, said, “From 2016-2018, for almost three years, our society paid an average of ₹2.5 crore to ₹2.9 crore a year for water through private tankers. We fought for two years with the Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP) and one year with the Gurugram Metropolitan Development, which replaced the HSVP (as the nodal authority for water supply). We still fail to understand why the government grants occupation certificates to builders to allow shifting into incomplete societies, without water and electricity. Why doesn’t the government make it mandatory for developers to ensure these essential services before applying for the OCs? I believe hundreds of newly built residential societies from 2015 have been depending on private tankers and they must have spent crores of rupees till the end of 2018. Still, many sectors are awaiting government water connections. Whose fault is this? Is this a racket? Anyway, we finally got the government water at the beginning of 2019.”
Such is the tale of every residential society in the city built along the northern and southern peripheral roads (SPR-NPR), where residents had to move in without water and electricity connections.
Yashesh Yadav, of Mahindra Aura in Sector 110A, said, “Between 2015 and 2019-end, we (our society) must have spent ₹5 crore or more on procuring water to fulfil our daily needs through the private tankers — a mafia business that has mushroomed in Gurugram in the past five to seven years. Private tanker owners extract groundwater and supply it to private colonies at rates they see fit. The role of government officials in helping them cannot be denied. Around January to February of 2019, we got the water supply through the pipeline that should have facilitated supply in 2015.”
The Haryana government planned sectors 58-115 in 2005, along the SPR and NPR, and issued licences to builders. According to an official of the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), there are around 400 small and big private societies located in these sectors.
Sectors 58 to 80 are located along the SPR (south of the NH-48, heading from Delhi to Manesar) and sectors 81 to 115 are located along the NPR (north of NH-48).
The GMDA is the custodian authority of the two water treatment plants at Basai and Chandu Budhera, from where treated Yamuna water — 420 to 450 million gallons daily — is supplied to the entire city. Sectors 1 to 57, which are considered the older sectors of the city, have access to the GMDA water from the Basai plant. The Chandu Budhera plant was built to cater to the need of newer sectors.
The GMDA notification was announced in August 2017 by the Haryana government, bringing relief to residents of newer sectors, who had been reeling under the crises of water, sewer, electricity, etc.
Lalit Arora, GMDA chief engineer, “In 2019, we supplied sectors 99 to 115 and sectors 58 to 72. By February 2020, we will start water supply from the Chandu Budhera plant for sectors 73 to 98. The GMDA took over water supply from the HSVP in 2018 November and in the succeeding year, have connected as many as 30 new sectors to our water distribution network.”
Most of the residential societies — Mahindra Aura, Vatika India and Next, New Town Heights, Raheja Atharva and Vedanta, Brisk Lumbini, Diplomat Puri, Centrum Park and Mapsko Green, among others — were launched in 2009-10 with a project completion time of three to four years.
“We supplied GMDA water through the pipeline for sectors 99 to 112 from January 2019. In these societies are around 50 societies, which are fully or partially occupied,” said the official.
Pradip Rahi, president of Dxp welfare association, an umbrella resident’ body for societies along Dwarka Expressway, said, “Not a single society on the SPR and NPR adheres to the terms and conditions of licence of the Haryana government to complete the project on time. Homebuyers booked their dream flats and apartments by paying 10% to 40% as booking charge and obtained home loans only to find out three years later that the projects were delayed for long. Many homebuyers accepted possession due to compulsions only, as they were paying instalments and room rents. So, they compromised on water, electricity, roads, etc.”
The GMDA official said, “In April 2019, the GMDA started water supply for sectors 58 to 72 from its Sector 51 boosting station. I guess 70,000 to 80,000 people have been living in these sectors for the past three years. They were getting water from private tankers at a high cost. Even after the GMDA started its supply through the pipeline, the tanker mafia punctured it many times to disrupt supply for these societies. The GMDA roped in the police for cracking down on them in June and July. For the rest of the sectors, 73 to 98, GMDA is laying pipelines to connect these sectors with the Chandu Budhera water treatment plant.”