Ranchi will have to wait at least another year for its water woes to be solved.
Hyderabad-based construction major IVRCL, entrusted with the job of executing a Rs 288 crore water supply revamp scheme for the capital as part of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), has only managed to complete half the work and sought a year’s extension of the September 2012 deadline.
On Monday, chief minister Arjun Munda had expressed strong displeasure over the tardy pace of work.
The project started in March 2010, but has been dogged by delay in getting land clearances, eleventh hour change in plans and slow pace of execution.
“We have applied for a year’s extension. There were many issues that came in the way of timely execution of the project. In many places we did not get clearance for land. We also had to change the position of an intake well at Rukka (Getalsud) dam,” P. Nagendra, assistant general manager of IVRCL Ltd, said.
The project envisages laying 304km of pipelines, a water treatment plant, an intake well, six towers and three sumps. While Rs 234 crore of the cost is being borne by the Centre, the state and urban local body’s (in this case Ranchi Municipal Corporation) share is just over Rs 50 crore.
Sources at Greater Ranchi Development Authority (GRDA), which acts as state level nodal agency for implementation and monitoring of JNNURM projects in the state, said so far the Centre has released two instalments adding up to about Rs 125 crore.
Of the proposed 304km pipeline, about 111km is ready. Land hiccups have stalled work on a 56km stretch for which clearances are awaited, but work is underway on the other stretches. The water treatment plant with a capacity of 114MLD (million litre per day) is coming up at Rukka, with a 172MLD intake well in the vicinity. The three sumps will come up at Sukurhuttu, Lalgutwa and Rampur. The six towers would be at Harmu, Dibdih, Pundag, Hatia, Tupudana and Kusai.
Work has not started in Rampur due to land acquisition problems, while in Kusai the issue of land was solved recently and authorities are expecting work to start soon.
Speaking to The Telegraph, superintending engineer (Ranchi urban circle) of the drinking water and sanitation department Swetabh Kumar said earlier, the intake wall was to be built to a height of 100 metres from the high flood level, which in this year was changed to 425 metres.
He added that the agency had applied for extension of deadline, but a final approval from the headquarters had to be obtained. Meanwhile, Umesh Mehta, joint secretary (management cell) of the department said they were yet to receive IVRCL’s application for deadline extension.
During a review on Monday, Arjun Munda directed development commissioner Debashish Gupta to call a meeting of departments concerned and remove bottlenecks.
What: Ranchi water supply scheme
Worth: Rs 288 crore
lInception: March 2010
lProgress: Only around 50 per cent
Deadline: September 2012
lExtension sought: One year