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French firm’s report: 25% water wasted in underground leakage in Chandigarh

The wasted water leading to Rs 15-cr annual loss to MC, can fulfil daily needs of 50,000 households

punjab Updated: Nov 20, 2017 09:48 IST
Hillary Victor
Hillary Victor
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
water wasted,underground leakage,25% water wasted
Due to this water wastage, the civic body is incurring an annual loss of Rs 15 crore for the past 15 years, despite the 2012 recommendations to improve the system. (Representative image )

Underground leakage is costing the city around 25% of its water supply. It translates to 20 million gallon daily (MGD) of water, which can fulfil the needs of 50,000 households.

  • Demand 116 MGD
  • Supply 87 MGD
  • Leakage 20 MGD
  • (MGD = million gallon daily)

These are the findings of a report submitted by Egis International, the French firm hired by the UT administration in June this year to implement the smart city project.

Due to this water wastage, the civic body is incurring an annual loss of Rs 15 crore for the past 15 years, despite the 2012 recommendations to improve the system.

24X7 supply a tall task

The report states that 24X7 water supply — which is one of the components of smart city — is possible only once the city gets an additional water supply of 40 MGD under Phases 5 and 6 of the Kajauli waterworks. The civic body claims that will become operational in April next year. Meanwhile, the French firm will start 24X7 water supply as a pilot project in Manimajra, which will be followed by area-based development (ABD) plan for Sectors 16, 17, 19, 22, 35 and 43 and finally the entire city.

What ails supply in city
  • MC officials not aware of its internal water distribution system
  • No water mapping done in the past 60 years
  • No initiative taken to revive six overhead water tanks
  • In most colonies, nozzles missing from taps, MC has failed to install meters
  • Failure to recover water charges from defaulters for the past one decade
  • Revenue from water charges has gone down from ₹60 cr in 2013 to ₹55 cr last year
  • Failure to rationalise water distribution in northern and southern sectors
  • Failure to install pressure gauge on V-4 roads for monitoring for the past two years

City short of 29 MGD water

At present, the city is short of 29 MGD, equivalent to 45 lakh litre or 2.25-lakh bucketful of water. Against its demand of 116 MGD, it is receiving 87 MGD. Of this, 67 MGD water is received from the first four phases of the Kajauli waterworks and the remaining from tubewells.

Even when plans to improve water supply are finalised, procedural delays or wastage have emerged as major hurdles towards quenching the city’s thirst.

Reports gathering dust

The civic body has also failed to implement the recommendations of an expert committee constituted in September 2012 — headed by the then superintending engineer, public health department, RC Diwan.

The report spoke about better maintenance of machinery and distribution system. Yet, nothing has been done.

Major DS Sandhu (retd), former chairman of the MC’s water supply and sewage disposal committee, said the officials have been suggesting measures to maintain waste pressure and ensure 24X7 water supply, but nothing has been done on the ground.

“The suggestions will take another 10 years to take shape,” he said. “Moreover, the officials are not even aware of the internal water distribution system. They never bothered to strengthen the grid system and have also favoured installation of tubewells in the low-pressure areas of the city.”

First Published: Nov 20, 2017 09:47 IST