CHANDIGARH IS aiming for 24×7 water supply but can the city actually achieve it in the present scenario where the residents are unable to get even the minimum hours of water supply which they were getting all these years?
Chandigarh gets water for around five to six hours a day. With the phase V and phase VI work of Kajauli underway, the supply is said to be increased to 10 hours. The project of additional water to Chandigarh which was one of the key poll issues in the Lok Sabha elections and counted as the achievement of the BJP government here, has missed several deadlines.
The city is to get additional 29 MGD from new phases V and VI. Land was acquired at Jandpur in Mohali for setting up of water treatment plant.
The project of laying the 23.5-km-long Phase V and VI pipeline from Kajauli waterworks to Jandpur was launched in March 2012. Since 2016, it is being claimed by Chandigarh MC that water would be reaching next summers.
But deadlines have already been missed and a new one set every time. In 1983, an agreement was signed between Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, wherein it was decided that the water from Bhakra through the Kajauli waterworks will be supplied to Mohali, Chandigarh, Chandimandir and Panchkula.
In February last year, UT Administrator and Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore too went to Jandpur and Kajauli waterworks in Mohali to review the progress of the city’s additional water supply project. But to no avail.
In addition to it, for the 24×7 water supply project, a loan of around Rs 550 crore has also been sought from French development bank, AFD. The Chandigarh Smart City Limited had prepared a detailed project report for the same.
Chairman of Federation of Sectors Welfare Association of Chandigarh Baljinder Singh Bittu said, “Is this smart city? We can’t get basic amenity of water and we claim to be the planned city of the country. People were literally in queues waiting to get little water.”
He added, “Do you think they can bring in 24×7 water supply when they can’t even get the basic 6-hour supply?”