Central seal on Siliguri water projects
The Union ministry of housing and urban affairs has approved two important projects worth around Rs 785 crore for drinking water supply in Siliguri civic area.
Hardeep S. Puri, the Union minister of housing & urban affairs, petroleum and natural gas, informed BJP Darjeeling MP Raju Bista in writing on Wednesday that the two projects was approved under the second edition of AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation).
“Funds will be shared on a 70:30 basis and the state will pay the major share,” a source added.
The approval has prompted Siliguri Municipal Corporation — north Bengal’s largest civic body — to float a tender for the project to resolve the city’s ongoing drinking water crisis.
For the past few months, the Trinamul-run board of the civic body and the state government had been pursuing approval of the Centre’s drinking water scheme.
Senior officials in SMC said Siliguri desperately needs a new drinking water project to cater to the daily demand of around 80 million litres.
Presently, only around 50 million litres can be supplied.
Also, because of silt deposits and other technical glitches at the old plant that had been set up in the 1990s, water supply often gets completely disrupted, the officials pointed out.
As of now, water is drawn from a canal of the Teesta, treated at the Fulbari plant in the southern end of Siliguri and distributed across the city through overhead reservoirs and pipelines.
Under the new project, water will be directly drawn from the Teesta river at Gajoldoba, which is around 25km from here.
“It is indeed a major development. The ministry has approved two projects worth Rs 785.27 crore,” said Bista.
According to sources, the water supply project which includes augmentation of water supply for the SMC area and rural areas en route, with a cost of Rs 511.08 crore, has been sanctioned. Another project of Rs 274.19 crore has been approved for sewerage and septage management, rejuvenation and augmentation of the existing waste stabilisation pond and allied works.
In phase I, infrastructure would be created to draw 211 million litres of water per day from the river Teesta, so that at least 138 million litres can be supplied to the treatment plant at Fulbari.
The civic body sought expertise from Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority to execute the project.