Prashant Kumar (left) during the inspection of new pipeline network between Mada and drinking water & sanitation department near Dhansar on Thursday. Telegraph picture
Jharia can forget its piped misery for good.
The drinking water and sanitation department and Mineral Area Development Authority (Mada) have linked their water supply pipelines at Dhansar to build a huge network that will ensure that more than 15 lakh residents of Jharia and its surrounding areas will never go thirsty again.
Under the new arrangement, water from Maithon Lake, which at present caters to Dhanbad town and its adjoining areas, will also be supplied to Damodar river-dependent Jharia during crisis. Similarly, Dhanbad town can also source its water quota from Damodar if necessary.
Dhanbad deputy commissioner Prashant Kumar visited Jharia around 10.15am on Thursday and inspected the new pipeline network near Dhansar. He was accompanied by ADM (law and order) B.P.L. Das, Mada managing director S.N. Upadhyay and executive engineer of range I of drinking water and sanitation department Prabhat Kumar.
“Water crisis in Jharia, caused by frequent strikes by Mada employees as well as other technical problems, prompted us to come up with a comprehensive plan to tackle the situation. In the first phase, we decided to connect Mada pipelines, which supply water from Damodar to different parts of Jharia, with drinking water and sanitation department’s lines that take water from Maithon Lake to Dhanbad town,” the deputy commissioner told The Telegraph.
He added that there already existed a pipe framework as the Mada lines extend till Hirapur in Dhanbad after crossing through Jharia. On the other hand, Maithon Lake water has reached till Dhansar, which falls between Dhanbad and Jharia, under Dhanbad Water Supply Scheme Phase I.
“We just connected Mada’s water supply line near Dhansar with that of the drinking water and sanitation department so that in case of any emergency, we can supply Maithon water to Jharia and vice versa. Though the network was almost complete about a month ago, certain technical problem had cropped up. We fixed it and it is now ready to function,” Prashant Kumar added.
According to the deputy commissioner, they have tried out the same model at Katras Bazar in Dhanbad, another locality under Mada, which was hitherto solely dependent on Topchanchi lake. “Mada’s water lines at Katras Baazar were connected with the new network laid by the drinking water department under JNNURM last year at a cost of Rs 14.4 crore. Now, water from Jamunia river can also reach Katras Bazar. The inter-linking process cost us a nominal Rs 4 lakh. The new lines will be opened after a final inspection within a week,” said the DC.
Other initiatives that will be taken to solve water crisis include replacement of all old motor pumps of Mada at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore. This apart, the two Jamaboda-based water treatment plants of Mada will be repaired at a cost of Rs 3 crore.
“A proposal prepared by Mada has been forwarded by the district administration to the state urban development department for grant of funds, as Mada doesn’t have cash to renovate the two water plants that are Jharia’s lifelines,” said the deputy commissioner.
During Thursday’s inspection at Jharia, Prashant Kumar also checked out the 14-lakh gallon capacity water tank, which faces threat from underground fire, near RSP College.