The Telegraph
Thursday , March 17 , 2011
Since 1st March, 1999
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End of water woes in sight

Patna, March 16: This April will not be the cruellest month for 4,000 households in the city. They will not be left high and dry this summer, as they will be getting the corporation water by the end of the next month.

The water supply wing of the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has set the target of providing at least 4,000 new water connections by the end of April.

“The corporation plans to provide 46,000 new water connections in the next one year. Of them, 4,000 connections will be given in the next six weeks. New pipelines would be laid in several areas for this,” said a senior officer in the water supply department.

The sources said water connection charges vary from Rs 1,050 to Rs 1,400, depending on the area.

Less than 90,000 households in the city get running water because of poor water connection network of the corporation. Over 5 lakh houses are there in the PMC limits.

“The water supply coverage in the city is estimated to be around 52 per cent. Most of the citizens are dependent on groundwater. There are 89 tubewells in the city,” said a source.

The new water connection promise from the civic body comes with a bad news. The state urban development department’s proposal to drill 38 new borings in the capital has not moved any further. Sources in the department said the project was getting delayed because of indecisiveness over who would execute the project. The toss-up is between the PMC and Bihar Rajya Jal Parshad (BRJP).

The delay in executing the project would leave thousands in the city water-starved.

The sources said the department had planned last year to install 38 new borings in the city in addition to the 96 functional in the corporation area. “But the file is stuck as it has not been decided whether PMC or BRJP would execute the project. A detailed project report was prepared a few months ago,” said a senior officer of the department.

Even as the borewell project is yet to take off, the department has floated a mega water supply project costing over Rs 425 crore. It aims at constructing two water treatment plants in the capital. Once ready, the PMC will be in a position to supply 135 litre per capita water everyday to all the residents of the city.

According to the civic body officials, it will be mandatory for every household to get a PMC water connection after the PMC water supply channel is strengthened through the project.

“At present, most households depend on borewells for water. But it will be compulsory for them to get a PMC water connection after our two treatment plants and the rest of the infrastructure are ready. Every household will have a water meter installed and a rate will be fixed at which consumers will need to pay water bill. It will also put a check on misuse of water, which is a major concern for us,” the source added.

Besides, overhead tanks are also in the pipeline. “There are about 10 overhead tanks in the city. Most of them are too old. At present, water is directly supplied to homes after being pumped. This process has to be changed in view of the requirement of the city,” an official said.

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