Spot the shoddy job: Road dug up
Road levelled after the ongoing drinking water pipeline replacement work in Cuttack. Pictures by Badrika Nath Das
Cuttack, Sept. 13: The Rs 34-crore project to replace drinking water pipelines in the city will fail its September deadline.
Over 81 per cent of the project has been completed, while the remaining work is expected to be over by the end of October.
According to officials of the public health engineering organisation, the pipe job was progressing well and the project was on track to meet the September deadline. However, the district collector's order to stop digging of roads on account of Dussehra has come as a hindrance.
"There will be delay in meeting the September deadline as old pipeline replacement work will remain suspended from September 20 till October 1 on account of Dussehra," executive engineer of the organisation's Cuttack division Sushant Ghadei told The Telegraph today.
"The roads that have been dug up for the pipeline replacement work will also have to be levelled and restored before September 20," Ghadei said.
The organisation will spend Rs 34 crore for replacement of the old pipelines, especially in the old parts of the city within the Cuttack Municipal Corporation limits, where most of the pipelines are old and have already lived their service period.
In old parts of Cuttack, water distribution pipelines were installed two to three decades ago. These old and rusty pipelines require immediate replacement as people in these areas suffer health problems, especially the water-borne diseases frequently. The government initiated the project after the problems had become more pronounced in recent years.
On July 30 last year, chief minister Naveen Patnaik laid the foundation stone for the project to address the problem of old, rusted or leaking water distribution pipelines that lead to contamination of drinking water, putting public health at risk.
Official sources said the replacement project had been undertaken since September last year, along with a survey of the existing pipelines. The project has targeted to replace around 98.65km of pipelines. "So far, around 80km of pipelines have been replaced and are ready to be charged. We had expected to complete the old pipeline replacement project in the city by September," Ghadei said.
The engineering body is replacing the old pipelines under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation scheme.
Kanika Chakh resident Ashok Das said: "Jaundice outbreaks persist as replacing of pipelines was limited to the affected pockets. The ongoing major project to fix all leaking and corroding pipelines in the city at one go will bring about to some extent a permanent solution."
The organisation officials said the supply was 102.9 million litres of water every against the demand of 101 million litres, but still, there was 25 per cent wastage of the supplied water because of leakage.
An official said the old pipelines replacement project had, for the most part, included areas which the municipal corporation had identified as highly vulnerable to spread of water-borne disease such as jaundice because of contamination of piped water.
The civic body's standing committee for health and sanitation chairman Ranjan Kumar Das said: "We had identified 15 wards as highly vulnerable to outbreak of jaundice because of the contamination of drinking water."
At present, piped water is being supplied in 44 of the 59 wards under the corporation area. Of the rest 15 wards, 13 are partially covered under piped water supply and two are left.