The Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) has issued a letter of intent (LOI) to a Chennai-based company for the first phase of a mega drinking water project following approval from the state-level technical committee of AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation).
The approval was given on September 1 for the implementation of the water project, which is being funded by the Centre under the AMRUT 2.0 scheme.
“Today, we issued an LOI to Eco Protection Engineers Private Limited, which is based in Chennai, for the implementation of the first phase of the project. Once the firm receives our letter, it will sign an agreement with us within 10 working days and officially accept the work order. In the first phase, around Rs 202 crore will be spent,” mayor Gautam Deb said on Monday.
The total cost of the drinking water project is Rs 511 crore.
In Siliguri, the existing water treatment plan at Fulbari is inadequate to meet the demand. While the regular demand for drinking water is around 75 MLD (million litres per day), barely 40 to 45 MLD is supplied from the plant.
As a result, a considerable portion of the city’s population had to buy drinking water. During the summer months, the situation turns more acute.
According to SMC sources, in the first phase, the construction of an intake well and five bridges and civil and electro-mechanical work will be carried out.
“There is a plan to finish the first phase within 18 months. Once the work is done, the company will carry out a trial run for three months. It will be responsible for carrying out the operations and maintenance of the project for a period of 60 months. The state urban development and municipal affairs department is providing technical support to the project,” said the mayor.
In January 2023, the first tender for the project was floated. However, the initiative failed as not a single company submitted any bid.
“The second tender was floated on June 23. Once the tender was opened on July 27, it was found that three companies had participated in it. The financial bid was opened on August 9 and the matter was sent to the state-level project implementation committee and technical committee of AMRUT. On September 1, they gave approval for the execution of the first phase,” said an official at the SMC.