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24x7 water plan underway in Pune, more funds needed

A year after the Pune municipal corporation (PMC) raised Rs 200 crore through municipal bonds for the 24x7 water supply scheme, the civic body now needs more funds to kick-start the project, which it will raise through bonds

pune Updated: Jan 01, 2019 15:18 IST
Abhay Khairnar
Abhay Khairnar
Hindustan Times, Pune
While civic body has already raised Rs 200 crore, it is looking to raise more money through bonds in phase-wise manner for the project.
While civic body has already raised Rs 200 crore, it is looking to raise more money through bonds in phase-wise manner for the project.(HT/PHPTO)
         

A year after the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) raised Rs 200 crore through municipal bonds for the 24x7 water supply scheme, the project has finally begun to take shape. However the civic body is looking to raise more funds through bonds.The PMC officials did not disclose the exact amount of money that they would be raising through the municipal bonds. The work for the project that will ensure 24-hour water supply in the city has begun in Baner. According to officials the pipeline work will also begin in Vimannagar.

Talking about the need for additional funds V J Kulkarni, PMC water department head said, “As the work is going on PMC will need additional funds, and for that the civic body will once again go to the market to raise funds through bonds in order to execute this scheme. The PMC will raise money through bonds in phase-wise manner.” Earlier in June 2017, PMC raised Rs 200 crores through municipal bonds though the money was later put in fix deposits since the project got delayed.

Commenting about the work in progress Kulkarni,added, “The work of 24x7 water scheme has started on ground and work is going on in Baner which has been identified as one of the area under Smart city. The works of water tanks is also in progress in various areas. The door to door survey that was started by the PMC to know the details about requirement of water and number of persons residing in every house is in its final stage.”

Under this scheme, the PMC will dig 1,700 km roads in order to lay the new water pipelines in the city. The project aims to achieve equatable water supply in order to curb losses and illegal water connections.

According to PMC, the city has been divided in six parts and two firms namely L&T and Jain irrigation have been given the contract to carry out the work of laying the water pipeline and installing meters. L&T is doing five packages.

Initially there the scheme drew a lot of flak as the cost of the tenders were really high. The PMC carried out the tender process twice. However as the project was surrounded by a controversy, the PMC kept the Rs 200 crore that they raised through municipal bonds as a fixed deposit.

While the initial cost of the project was Rs 2,600 crore, the PMC brought down the cost. This effort by the PMC was applauded by Vice President of India Venkaiyya Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Fund flows affect water flow

A year after the Pune municipal corporation (PMC) raised Rs 200 crore through municipal bonds for the 24x7 water supply scheme, the civic body now needs more funds to kick-start the project, which it will raise through bonds

Highlights of the project

Work on the 24x7 water supply scheme project was initially scheduled to begin in February 2018. However, the project got delayed and work began in December 2018.

Initially, PMC was to execute this project in 5 pilot areas, however the project will now be happening pan city. The work has already begun in Baner, the first phase of the project.

Slums would not have water meters, but they would have to pay ₹1 charge per day.

Contractors have to conduct operations and maintenance for the next 15 years.

20 per cent of the contractors’ fees would be withheld by PMC as a guarantee for maintenance.

Main objectives of the project

Safe and equitable water supply to all citizens for the next 30 years.

Distribution of water 24 hours a day.

Reduce the amounts of water losses and non-revenue water supply.

Ensuring technological, economical and environmental sustainability of the water supply service.

Re-tendering of the project

The PMC approved 24x7 water scheme at the cost of Rs 2,055 crore. The standing committee of the PMC gave a nod to the scheme and allotted the work to L&T and Jain Irrigation company. The PMC have raised funds of ₹200 crore through municipal bonds and kept it in a fixed deposit.

Murlidhar Mohol , former standing committee chairman

“Earlier the project’s estimate cost was Rs 2,600 crore and the tenders were above 26 per cent, which inflated the project cost to Rs 3,100 crore. After opposition from various political parties, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis intervened in the matter and ordered the scrapping of the process. He asked for a re-tendering of the project. As per the chief minister’s instruction, PMC carried out the process and the project cost came down to almost Rs 2,055 crore which is almost Rs 1,100 crore less than the previous cost.”

First Published: Jan 01, 2019 15:18 IST

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