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Govt plans to plug water waste

Bhubaneswar, May 8: The state government has geared up to check wastage of drinking water as nearly 100 million litres goes waste every day in the city.

Bhubaneswar is one of the few cities in the country where the installed supply capacity is almost double its requirement. Though the city’s requires 150 to 160 million litre of water per day (MLD), the public health and engineering department (PHED) is now providing 260 million litre of water daily.

“Nearly 100 million litre water goes to waste every day because of lack of awareness among the residents,” said executive engineer of Bhubaneswar M.R. Nanda.

At present, the city gets water from the Mahanadi, Daya and Kuakhai river systems. While 120 MLD is drawn from the Kuakhai, 20 MLD from the Daya and 60 MLD from the Mahanadi, the rest comes from underground sources and small streams.

He said attempts had been made to regularise all illegal connections. Nanda added that the city had 64,000 regular connections.

In order to check the excessive drawing of water illegally, the government on Monday decided to regularise its entire supply system. House owners who fail to regularise water connections will have to pay a fine of Rs 5,000 every month. The government is also making amendments to the Orissa Supply of Drinking Water Rules (1961).

Similarly, if one tries to draw excessive water by using a pump, it would be considered a crime and an FIR would be lodged against the house owner.

However, the new rules would be extended to all urban areas of the state and not be confined to the cities.

Moreover, to regularise the flow of water, metres would be installed with each new connection. Metres for old connections would be installed in a phased manner.

“Anyone who tampers with the water metre would be liable to pay a fine which will be four times the monthly rent,” said official.

Even as it plans to crack the whip, the department is a organising water connection mela to generate awareness among residents.

“We reach a particular area on a holiday so that people can benefit from it. The entire office started functioning from a single location and people of the locality can get their water pipe connection as well as regularise unauthorised ones by paying a fine of Rs 500,” said Nanda.

Earlier, one had to wait for 20-30 days to get a new connection. Now, one can get a connection within seven days by paying Rs 3,060. The department was also offering installment facility for getting the connection, an official said. The payments could be made over 30 months, he said.

Though the city’s pipe water network is 911-km long, there are many pockets that have not been covered by the PHED network.

Now the state government is planning to revamp the city’s sewerage and water supply system with JNNURM funds.