Patna: Drinking water scarcity is a major problem which Patnaites face on a daily basis. In 2012, the urban development and housing department (UDHD) had launched the Patna Water Supply Project to tide over the situation. However, even after crossing its deadline of completion around two months back, the project has made a progress of less than 20%, leaving little hope for Patnaites to have 24X7 water supply in near future.
This project, estimated to cost Rs 548.83 crore (including 10-year maintenance), is to be funded by the Centre to the extent of 80% under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission and 20% by Bihar government. Once completed, total water storage capacity is expected to increase to 1,04,000 kilolitre (KL) from the current 7,300 KL in the city. The design, build and operate (DBO) contract was awarded to Gammon Geo Miller Consortium on Mar 28, 2012 and the target completion date was March 27, 2014. Supervision of the project was to be done by the Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (BUIDCO).
“We have so far spent Rs 78.74 crore and 80% of the work is still pending. The project has been delayed due to non-availability of land. For each of the 72 over head service reservoir (OHSR), 1,600sq feet of land is required. Of the identified sites, 21 are under PMC control and work is under progress on 18 of them. Remaining land sites are with other departments – Housing Board (11), PWD (6), educational institutes (12), DM/BDO/CO (7) and other agencies (15). On the other hand, out of the 25 acres of land required for water treatment plant (WTP), only nine acre land is available,” said Chandra Bhanu Tiwari, project director, BUIDCO.
Tiwari added, “Arranging land is one of the biggest problems here. The state government is trying hard for it, but we have little hope. If we fail to arrange land for the project, then the dream of providing 24X7 water supply to Patnaites will be shattered and the city will continue to get water supply with the present system.”