Saturday, December 9, 2023

Delay in Mango Water Project irks residents, project misses deadline again

Jamshedpur : Delay in completion of Mango Drinking Water Project is irking residents. People of several areas of Jamshedpur are facing an acute water shortage, and are forced to travel about more than a kilometer to fetch drinking water.

The water shortage problem is so severe that if temperature soars further several areas might not receive water at all. The impact of summer has hit early this year. The ground water level at various places has gone down considerably due to the mushrooming high-rises. Moreover due to the rising temperature the water level of two important rivers Swarnarekha and Kharkai has decreased substantially.

The Mango drink water project, which has crossed seven scorching summers with the promise of quenching the thirst of more than 3 lakh residents, looks to miss yet another deadline.

The Mango project � aiming to supply 48 million litres per day � started in 2005 as a public-private partnership between state drinking water and sanitation department and Tata Steel subsidiary Jusco. At present, against a demand for over six million litres of water a day, three lakh Mango residents receive less than a third, that is, less than two million litres.

The project has missed a number of deadlines. The initial completion date was August 2011. Since then, it has failed to meet several deadlines � December 2011, September 2012, December 2012, January 2013, April 2013, December 2013 and June 30, 2014.

The project was proposed by state drinking water and sanitation department to be commissioned by the chief minister Hemant Soren.

�The drinking water and sanitation department had sent a proposal for commissioning of the water project to the state CM on June 30. However, there has been no communication. We think that Hul Diwas celebration might have prevented CM from coming to the city. We have to work on a fresh date for inauguration of the project,� said DW&SE Adityapur division executive engineer, Najre Imam.

However sources in the department said that strong protest over inauguration of the project had forced to defer the inauguration.

The residents had taken out torch rally and burnt effigy of state chief minister Hemant Soren yesterday evening to protest proposed inauguration of the water project in a haste.

East Singhbhum additional deputy commissioner (ADC), Ganesh Kumar admitted that several issues related to leakage of pipes and difficulty in operation of water project during power cuts are being sorted out. The project envisaged construction of five water towers in addition to an existing, a new modernised water treatment plant and an intake reservoir on the banks of the Subernarekha with a capacity to supply 48 million litres per day for the next 24 years.

At present, against a demand for 6 million litres per day, residents of Mango get less than 2 million litres per day water from the existing water tower.

The project was mentioned in the 2005-06 budget with an estimated cost of Rs 25 crore. The foundation stone was laid by then Governor K Shankarnarayan in 2009. Its earlier scheduled deadline was August 2011.

The Jharkhand high court, which has been hearing a PIL since August 2012 on the delayed Mango project filed by Jamshedpur-based NGO Bhagwan Birsa Sewa Sansthan, had asked the state drinking water and sanitation department (DW&SD) to file a compliance report by January 2013.

The district administration had filed an affidavit in December 2012 before the High Court that the project would begin by March this year.

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