MULTI-VILLAGE WATER SUPPLY PROJECTS
GUWAHATI: A total of three among the six districts of Assam, including Kamrup (Metro), are set to miss the March 2020 schedule for getting 24X7 metered multi-village water supply. The PHE (Public Health Engineering) Department which is the implementing agency of this project, has been seeking for rescheduling of the date of commission of the projects in Phase-I due to delay in works.
The World Bank-aided project was started in 2014 in four States across the nation – Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand and UP. In Assam, the project is being implemented in six districts – Kamrup (M), Jorhat and Hailakandi in Phase-I and Sivasagar, Morigaon and Bongaigaon in Phase-II. The projects under Phase-I in the State started in 2015 were scheduled to be completed by March 2020. However, the commissioning of the projects on schedule is unlikely as the State PHE has already written twice to the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation seeking rescheduling of the date for their commissioning. Sources in the PHE say that it needs at least one-and-a-half years more time to complete the projects. The Union Ministry, however, is yet to reschedule the date of commissioning of the projects underway in Phase-I in Assam.
The Phase-I of the project in Assam include 63 GPs (gaon panchayats) in three districts with 390 villages covering 12,384 habitations with an area of 1,245 sq km. The project is to supply 59.4 MLD (millions of litres daily). The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 593.77 crore. While the World Bank is to bear 50 per cent of the total project cost, the Government of India is to bear 44 per cent, 4.5 per cent by the State government and 1.5 per cent through community contribution.
The progress of the project in two blocks in Kamrup (M) district – Chandrapur (5 MLD) and Dimoria (17.8 MLD) – is dismal. While 83 per cent of the project works has been over in the Chandrapur Block with partial commissioning of the project, only 53 per cent work has been done in the project in Dimoria Block. In fact, the project has been locked in a logjam between the State Revenue and Forest departments over the possession of the land where the WTP (water treatment plant) of the project is being constructed. A sense of uncertainty continues to hover over this project in Dimoria Block.
Approximately 75 per cent work of the 28.2-MLD project in Jorhat district and 65 per cent work of the 8.4-MLD project in Hailakandi district have been completed. According to PHE sources, so far Rs 458.31 crore has been released for the phase-I projects.