All for cleaner water - Facelift for five reservoir lifelines in capital, Adityapur, Hazaribagh & Chatra

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By AMIT GUPTA
  • Published 31.07.10
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Ranchi, July 30: Jharkhand has embarked on a mammoth project to rejuvenate five dams and reservoirs that act as prime water sources for capital Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Hazaribagh and Chatra, a move that will also help the state tap central funds.

The water bodies that have been chosen include Getalsud and Kanke in Ranchi, Sitarampur dam in Adityapur, Chharwa dam in Hazaribagh and Heroo reservoir in Chatra.

The project envisages assessment of siltation and de-silting of dams using scientific methods, undertaking pollution prevention measures by interception, diversion and treatment of sewage by providing low-cost sanitation, treatment of catchment areas and other allied work as per norms of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and National Lake Conservation Programme (NLCP).

“All the dams are age-old, providing uninterrupted water supply to residents. But now, maintaining water quality is a big challenge,” said Md Sajjad Hassan, the engineer-in-chief of drinking water and sanitation department.

Kanke reservoir at the base of Gonda hills, for instance, hadn’t been cleaned since it was built in 1954. According to an official of the dam’s water filtration plant, in summer, the suction pipe reaches into an 8 feet layer of mud collected over the years.

Hassan explained the expansion of urban settlements meant that city limits had come closer to the reservoirs. This led to huge amounts of effluents being discharged nearby, increasing the possibility of contamination.

Yesterday, the state drinking water and sanitation department invited bids for selecting consultants to prepare detailed project report (DPRs) for “rehabilitation and renovation of water bodies” used for urban water supply across the state.

Hassan said after the DPRs were prepared, the department would submit proposals to the Centre, namely the ministries of urban development environment and forests to get funds under JNNURM and NLCP. The present efforts to rejuvenate water bodies of the state are being made against the backdrop of similar efforts made in 2008, 2009.

A plan for water bodies in and around the state capital was worked out by Nano System Consultants a couple of years back but the DPR was not as per JNNURM or NLCP norms.

In March 2009, the state had to cancel a tender for desilting the highly polluted Kanke reservoir after questions were raised about its propriety as the model code of conduct was in place ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

In 2008, the drinking water and sanitation department had floated a Rs 22-crore tender to clean the Kanke dam. But the project had to be shelved following a dispute with the urban development department over funds.