Sivasagar, April 9: The Assam Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Board is planning to tap the Dikhow again to cater to the increasing demand for potable water in this historical town.
The present water supply scheme at Phukan Nagar is run by the Sivasagar Municipal Board and can only cater to a population of 30,000. Before this, the residents here were supplied water from a project installed in the Bar Pukhuri.
Urban water supply department executive engineer P. Talukdar said three reservoirs of 7,50,000-litre capacity had already been constructed, along with the water treatment plant. “This Rs 16-crore project under the non-lapsable central pool of resources will serve 60,000 residents over and above those being served by the municipal water supply scheme. At present, only the pipe-laying work remains to be done,” he said.
Sivasagar Municipal Board chairman Rana Khan said the scheme run by the board, which also draws water from the Dikhow, was set up in 1918 and only had the capacity to serve 30,000 households. “Sivasagar, since then, has expanded a lot and many households have made their own arrangements like digging deep tubewells and wells, among others, to draw potable water. Once this scheme goes on steam, the problem of these households will be ameliorated,” he said.
A resident here said in most parts of Sivasagar, ground water was accessible at depths of 100 feet to 120 feet and boring that deep was a difficult and expensive task. “Once water from the Dikhow is supplied, then the difficulty of drawing water by pumps from tubewells, wells or ponds will be over. On some days, when there is prolonged load-shedding, taps run dry as the pumps cannot be worked,” he said.
On the other hand, the DoNER ministry had made a proposal in 2010 about drawing water from the Brahmaputra and supplying it to the people of Jorhat town. But it is yet to be sanctioned by the Centre.
The Rs 55.04-crore project proposes to draw water from the Brahmaputra to cater to a population of about 2,08,724 by 2024 and an additional 29,694 by 2039. The water demand in Jorhat would be 16.8 million litres per day by 2024 and 23.9 million litres per day by 2039.
Two drinking water projects exist in the town but depleting ground water levels and arsenic content in few areas has triggered the demand for supply from a perennial source of water.
A board official said the Jorhat project would be sanctioned within a short time.