24x7 water in pipeline

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  • Published 13.12.11

Patna, Dec. 12: Round-the-clock water supply is in sight in the city. Deadline: 2014.

Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCo) is working on an ambitious scheme to renovate the “almost defunct” water supply system of the state capital. Rs 500 crore from Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission funds would be utilised for the project.

The round-the-clock water flow will come with a pocket pinch, though. Water meters would be installed at every household connected to the water supply network.

BUIDCo has invited firms to develop the new 24x7 water supply system for the city. The contract is likely to be awarded in January 2012. The selected firm would have to complete the project in 24 months.

“The corporation has recently invited firms to design, build, operate, manage and maintain the new water supply system in the city. Apart from construction, operation and management of the river water intake well in the Ganga, the scope of work under the new water supply scheme includes 72 new overhead water tanks and minimum of 25 tubewells across the city. Efforts are being made to award the work to the successful bidder by January 2012. The project has to be completed within 24 months from the date of commencement of the execution work,” said a senior official of BUIDCo.

The selected firm would be responsible for managing the water supply network for 10 years. Thereafter, the civic body would look after it.

The new water supply scheme assumes significance because the existing network based on extraction of groundwater is outdated. Besides, it dries up the water table.

The fresh project envisages 24x7 water supply system for the city by rehabilitating and upgrading the existing system. Under the new scheme, the city would be split into two zones — north and south. The Delhi-Howrah railway line would be the dividing line.

The part of the city to the north of the railway tracks would be supplied water from the Ganga. New tubewells and reservoirs would be constructed for supplying water to the southern zone round-the-clock. The existing water facilities would also be renovated.

To ensure continuous water flow to the “south city”, a raw water pump house having water intake capacity of 310 million litres per day (MLD) would be built on the Ganga riverbed near Digha railway yard. A 220 MLD water treatment plant would be installed over 25 acres of land at Digha diara. A clear water reservoir with a capacity to store 220 MLD of water for four hours would also be developed. It would be connected with clear water pump houses that would be operational for 22 hours a day. (See graphics)

The existing water supply system of Patna town is based on groundwater sources. It does not utilise the water of three rivers in the vicinity — Ganga, Sone and Punpun. Bihar Rajya Jal Parishad developed the existing water supply system. It is operated and managed by Patna Municipal Corporation.

The existing water network consists of tubewells. The water is treated now just by online electro-chlorinators.

The present distribution system includes 23 overhead tanks. Only four of them are in use now. The remaining 19 overhead tanks are not in use because of leakage problems. A large part of the water distribution system is over 30 years old.

Environment experts hailed the proposed water supply project.

“The existing system of water supply is based on extraction of groundwater, which exerts excessive pressure on the groundwater table. But the new water scheme would put a check on it. It would be good from the energy point of view as well because lot of electricity can be saved if people switch to the 24x7 water supply system instead of depending on individual motors to fetch water,” said Dr Ashok Ghosh, the professor in charge of the department of environment and water management, AN College.