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Water plans with an eye on future

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 25: The Public Health Engineering Organisation is planning a second water treatment plant near Mundali to meet the future water requirements of the state capital.

Though officials of the Public Health Engineering Organisation (PHEO) said that the plan was still at a preliminary stage as only a “networking survey” had been done to estimate the water requirements of the city in 2030, senior officials said that the survey would enable the PHEO to know the areas to be marked under the course of the pipeline in future, its branches and distribution network and the cost factor as the project will have to be funded by the Odisha government in phases.

PHEO superintending engineer Chittaranjan Jena said: “At present, we have a capacity to supply drinking water of more than 260 million litres per day (MLD), while the actual requirement is around 160 MLD. Though there is no immediate need to increase the water supply, we have to be futuristic in our planning. Urban planning in Bhubaneswar is already being done through a comprehensive development plan developed by the IIT, Kharagpur. Once the networking survey is done, we will be able to know the exact future requirements of the water treatment plant.’’

Jena said: “We are also planning to provide water 24X7 and for that more overhead and underground tanks and metering machines are needed at the source and the consumer-ends. If it is going to be implemented in future, the plan will enable us to know the cost effectiveness of the supply system, as all things will be metered. However, with the real-estate development expanding in all directions in the state capital, we should be prepared for future needs.”

At present, apart from the 115 MLD plant at Mundali, other water treatment plants at Palasuni, Bhuasuni, Hi-Level Tank, Spring Tank and Chandrasekharpur are treating 82,14, 6.81,2.27 and 96.81 MLD of water, respectively. However, the PHEO sources admitted that there was a huge loss of water during the course of sending it through the distribution network.

Urban development practitioner Piyush Ranjan Rout, however, added: “If the claim of the PHEO is correct, a major portion of the drinking water gets wasted at different ends and the authorities need to check that completely.”

Another expert working on water and sanitation issues said: “Though much more water is generated in the city at present than its actual consumption, 57 per cent of the areas are bereft of water supply. The new treatment plant would perhaps be able to solve the problem in future in those areas.”

The state government is also planning to start a 65-MLD water treatment plant on public-private partnership (PPP) mode to supply water to the IIT Bhubaneswar, the National Institute of Science and Educational Research, and to areas such as Jatni, Khurda, Infocity-II and Jatni township.