Choked for decades - TASK: Clean up reservoirs WHEN: Anybody's guess

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By AMIT GUPTA
  • Published 12.04.11
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Ranchi, April 11: Eight major reservoirs, primary water sources for the state’s urban centres like Ranchi, Dhanbad and Hazaribagh, will finally be cleaned up, now that a two-year-long interdepartmental wrangling seems to have come to an end.

And even though no timeline has yet been set for the ambitious desilting project, the fact that the state urban development department has been assigned the task is a beginning of sorts.

The early months of summer are already experiencing a severe water crisis throughout Jharkhand, fighting drought with its back to the wall for two consecutive years.

Of the eight reservoirs three are in the state capital — Rukka, Kanke and Hatia. Topchanchi in Dhanbad, Sitarampur dam in Adityapur near Jamshedpur and Charwa dam in Hazaribagh are among the others that haven’t been desilted for decades, which means that over the years, their capacities to store water have reduced substantially.

Urban development secretary N.M. Kulkarni said water bodies would now be revived under the Centre’s National Lake Conservation Programme (NLCP).

“We have a budgetary approval of Rs 47 crore from the Centre under NLCP in 201112. Besides, the state will spend Rs 20 crore. We have good response from experts in this field and work on assigning agencies to prepare DPRs will be handed over soon,” he said.

Thereafter, the Centre’s sanction will be sought on individual projects.

Tenders were invited a fortnight back for selecting consultants to prepare detailed project reports. A prebid meeting was held on April 5 wherein the urban development department received a good response.

Bids will be opened on April 18, the last date for receiving technical and financial proposals.

Amid the paper work, a beginning has been made. The drinking water and sanitation department (DWSD) will start work next month on cleaning up and deepening portions of the Kanke reservoir for now.

“It is a short-term measure for which Coal India subsidiary Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) has agreed to provide Rs 80 lakh under corporate social responsibility. The long-term job will be taken up by the urban development department later,” said DWSD engineer-in-chief Sajjad Hasan.

For the last two years, DWSD and water resources department (WRD) have been passing the buck on who should be held responsible for cleaning the reservoirs. Both departments spent last year trying to prepare DPRs.

Deputy chief minister Hemant Soren, who is also in charge of drinking water and sanitation, was hauled up in the Assembly in March for dithering on the desilting projects that would go a long way to ease the water crisis likely to aggravate in the coming months.

LIFELINE

Reservoirs that supply water to major urban areas of Jharkhand haven’t been cleaned for decades. Now, these eight are to be desilted by the urban development department

• Rukka, Kanke, Hatia: Ranchi

• Sitarampur: Adityapur

• Topchanchi: Dhanbad

• Charwa: Hazaribagh

• Heru: Chatra

• Khandoli: Giridih