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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

Chandigarh: 25% water goes waste due to underground leakage, says report

Consultant’s take: Wasted water can cater to 50,000 households, leading to Rs 15crore loss to Chandigarh MC.

punjab Updated: May 14, 2018 12:05 IST
Hillary Victor
Hillary Victor
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
the wastage is happening even when Chandigarh faces a shortfall of 50 million gallons daily (MGD) against a demand of 116 MGD, a report has said.
the wastage is happening even when Chandigarh faces a shortfall of 50 million gallons daily (MGD) against a demand of 116 MGD, a report has said.(HT File/Representative image )

Chandigarh: About 25% water being supplied to Chandigarh that can cater to an estimated 50,000 households is being wasted daily because of underground leakage and unmetered water stands in colonies, leading to a loss of Rs 15 crore daily to the municipal corporation.

  • As a number of old MC officials have retired, others who have replaced them not aware of city’s internal water distribution system
  • No water mapping done in the past 60 years
  • No initiative taken to revive six high-capacity overhead water tanks
  • Failed to recover water charges from defaulters in the past one decade
  • Revenue from water charges has gone down. In 2016-17, expenditure increased to Rs 33 crore and revenue collection totalled Rs 68 crore
  • Failed to rationalise water distribution in northern and southern sectors
  • Failed to install pressure gauge on V-4 roads to monitor pressure at different points for the past two years
  • Even failed to provide tertiary water connection to residents. The Rs 15-crore TT project was commissioned to cater to houses of one kanal and above (nearly 7600 in the city, but only 700 connections have been allotted till date

This is happening even when the city faces a shortfall of 50 million gallons daily (MGD) against a demand of 116 MGD, a report has said.

Engaged to assess loss of revenue from water wastage, Mumbai-based DRA Consultants have said in the report submitted last week to the Chandigarh municipal corporation that 20 MGD water (25%) is being wasted because of leakages, leading to loss of revenues of Rs 15 crore a year for the past 15 years.

The MC had hired the consultants in October last year on the directions of the urban development ministry.

Underground water supply lines, unmetered water stands and connections in some colonies and residential areas, respectively, led to the wastage, the report said. No meters had been installed by the MCs in some colonies and nozzles of taps were also missing.

A similar report by French company Egis International, which was allocated work to develop Chandigarh as a smart city, had also pointed to 25 % water wastage, lending credence to the findings of DRA Consultants.

The Mumbai-based consultant also said that 24-hour water supply to the city will only be possible once the city gets an additional 40 MGD supply under phase 5 and 6 from Kajauli Waterworks from October this year.

When contacted, superintending engineer, public health department, Sanjay Arora, said he had received the report but not gone through it.

Repairs of the Bhakra Nangal Dam by the Punjab government has led to the 50 MGD shortfall in the city, which usually faces a shortage of 35 MGD or 45 lakh litre and is now getting just 65 MGD. The worst affected sectors include 20, 21 22, 23, 27, 28, 31, 32, 34, 35, 44, 45, 46 and 48 to 51, where the first and second floors of houses don’t get water.

2012 recommendations gather dust

The MC has so far failed to implement the recommendations of an expert committee set up in September 2012, headed by the then superintending engineer, public health department, RC Diwan. It had underlined the need for better maintenance of machinery and distribution system, but nothing was done about it.

Mayor’s take

“I will hold a meeting with the water supply department soon and seek a report on the water supply system. I have not seen the report of the consultant. As far as water shortage goes, the problem will be sorted out soon,” Chandigarh mayor Davesh Moudgil said.