Remedy of closed, ailing water supply schemes lies with PHE!
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, March 7: Most of the PHE-run water supply schemes in Guwahati have got into a mess. While many of them have stopped supplying water, some are gasping for life. And the reason is cash crunch.
PHE had to set up some water supply schemes in areas that are beyond the reach of the water supply schemes being run by the GMC and the Urban Water Supply Project in the city. The PHE had to take such a venture following pleas from city residents who fall outside the purview of GMC water supply schemes and the schemes of the Urban Water Supply Project. However, most of the PHE water supply schemes have come to their dead ends.
What ails PHE’s water supplies schemes in the city? The reason is glaringly visible. The department does not shoulder the burdens of salary components of workers and power bills of the schemes. Each of the PHE water supply schemes in the city has two workers who get their remuneration from the amount being collected from the beneficiaries every month. The power bills of the schemes are also cleared from that collection from beneficiaries. With Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) hiking power tariff frequently, the collection from the beneficiaries falls short of clearing power tariffs and the salary component of the workers. A tangible remedy to the situation is PHE owning the responsibility of payment of workers’ salary and power bills of the schemes.
The situation remains that such PHE water supply schemes in the city have to be kept running at least till altertive water supply schemes become a reality in the city.
Members of the coordition committee of PHE water supply schemes of the city today staged a strike at Dispur Last Gate. They demand of the State PHE Department to bear the expenditure of salary component of the workers of its water supply schemes and their power bills so as to give the schemes a fresh lease of life till altertive supply schemes come up. They also demanded of the government that the altertive water supply schemes that are coming up in the city should ensure that each and every family in the city gets 500 litre water everyday free of cost. They also demanded that the altertive water supply schemes should also cover the areas that are under PHE schemes now.
They submitted a memorandum to this effect to the Chief Minister today seeking his intervention.