Finally, additional water that Chandigarh is to get from phase V and phase VI will reach Sector 39 waterworks on Wednesday. Water from one pump reached Jandpur from Kajauli waterworks on Tuesday evening and the same will be reaching the Sector 39 waterworks on Wednesday morning.
In all, Chandigarh is to get additional 29 MGD water from phase V and VI. At present, UT gets 85 million gallons daily (MGD). Of this, about 58 MGD comes from Kajauli waterworks phases I, II, III and IV, and the remaining 27 MGD is generated through 250 tubewells. With phase V and phase VI, the total supply will be 114 MGD.
Water will now be treated and sources in the Municipal Corporation said that it will reach residents officially on October 2. UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore is expected to make an announcement regarding the same in his address to the House that is scheduled to take place on August 30.
On Tuesday evening when it was informed that water is going to reach Jandpur, Municipal Commissioner K K Yadav visited the site with officers.
Yadav told Chandigarh Newsline, “Water has successfully reached Jandpur. As of now, it has reached from one pump, that is 13 MGD. There are three pumps in all. This water will reach Sector 39 waterworks tomorrow morning,”
The commissioner said that water filtration will be carried out now and in around a month, residents will start getting it. “The timings of the water supply will be discussed in the general house as the hours will increase,” he added.
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 an achievement of the BJP government here, has missed several deadlines.
The project of laying the 23.5-km-long Phase V and VI pipeline from the Kajauli waterworks to Jandpur was launched in March 2012. Since 2016, it is being claimed by Chandigarh MC that water would be reaching next summer. But a new deadlines is set every time the old one is missed. In 1983, an agreement was signed between Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, wherein it was decided that water from Bhakra through the Kajauli waterworks will be supplied to Mohali, Chandigarh, Chandimandir and Panchkula.
The work of pumping raw water from Kajauli up to Jandpur has been done by GMADA for which they deposited Rs 98 crore. The work of pumping raw water from Jandpur up to the Sector 39 waterworks has been done by Chandigarh MC at an estimated cost of Rs 89 crore.
On Tuesday, the pumping was started by GMADA by operating one pump initially from Kajauli waterworks to supply water to Jandpur water storage tank successfully and from Jandpur to the Sector 39 waterworks by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. In the next few days, all the motors from Kajauli and Jandpur will be started in a phased manner to stabilise the pumping system. The newly constructed 15 MGD water treatment plant at Sector 39 waterworks will also be stabilised by the end of September 2019.
There is a storage tank having capacity of 4 MGD at Jandpur and four working and two standby pumping sets at Jandpur to pump raw water. In case of electricity failure, the MC has made 100 per cent back-up system by providing DG sets to run all the motors at Jandpur pumping station.
Supply restored but with low pressure
The water supply was restored but with low pressure on Tuesday. The Municipal Corporation received as many as 400 complaints requesting for water tanker services.
Residents said that the supply was restored but it was at such a low pressure that water could not reach the first and second floors. Officials of the public health wing said that in a day or two, the supply would get normal.
The city faced water crisis on Sunday and Monday. Over 3,000 complaints were received in all with residents requesting the corporation to send in water tankers. Other residents said that they arranged private tankers on their own but they had to wait for 24 hours to get the tanks filled.
The crisis happened because phase I, II, III and IV developed a technical snag at the Kajauli waterworks. Initially, there was a snag only in phase III and IV but incidentally a snag developed in phase I and II as well. As a result, the supply had to be stopped for repair.
Officials of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation said that obsolete machinery and no proper maintenance is the reason leading to frequent breakdowns at the Kajauli waterworks located at Morinda in Punjab. They stated that the valves and surge tanks are 30 years old while the headers are around 10 years old.
Chandigarh pays Rs 1.6 crore as the monthly maintenance charges at Kajauli waterworks and Rs 2.5 crore as monthly electricity bill to Punjab for running the pumps there.
Officials stated that the valves of phase 1 and II haven’t been replaced for nearly 30 years because of which leakages occur. These flow control valves help in regulating flow or pressure of water. Since they are old, even if two MGD water has to be released, the defective valve won’t regulate the flow and can send out additional or less water. (ENS)