BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Oct 18: Water is an essential part of our daily life and every citizen has the right to clean and safe drinking water. But how safe is the water residents are getting in Guwahati? Is it free from germs? Is it hygienic enough?
Guwahatians will be shocked to know that they are getting drinking water from a plant that expired around 23 years back.
The Water Works department of Guwahati Municipal Corporation came into being in 1962. With three plants - Panbazar (also known as Pani Tanki), Sat Pukhuri in Kharghuli area and Kamakhya and 8 deep tube wells at different places, the department caters to the needs of the city. The design period of the Panbazar water plant was for 30 years, which means the machineries were supposed to be replaced in 1992. But it is shocking to know that even 23 years after expiry date, they are getting water from the same plant.
When The Sentinel asked the Superintendent Engineer of Water Works department about the water crisis in the city, Anil Kumar Mishra said, “The machine is very old. We have to stop the machine once it is over heated and it takes at least 8 hours for the machine to cool down before it can be started again. The same problem needs to be faced during power cuts as we can’t even start the machine after the power supply resumes. Under such circumstances, water supply will definitely suffer.”
He also added that the water plant is already outdated and it will hardly survive another two-three years.
“In particular areas, some people are not getting water because at places some residents pump out the supply water from the GMC pipeline, as a result of which other residents are deprived of water,” Mishra added.
It may be mentioned that there are total 30,000 water connections in the city.
“The department is suffering huge losses. The monthly electricity bill is Rs 46 lakhs, the entire yearly expense including salaries amounts to Rs 12 crore, whereas the collection of the department is only Rs 5 crore,” he lamented.
With new GMDA projects coming up, though the residents of the city see some hope in the days to come, keeping in view the sils pace of the work, it is still a distant goal.