August 9, 2021 8:31:18 pm
Water pipeline construction in parts of the walled city of Jaipur has left many citizens complaining about delays and inconvenience.
The construction work, which has been going on for a while, has also been affected due to the heavy downpour that the city has been seeing.
“Monsoon made the work stop. If it rains, we have to come the next day and do the previous day’s work again because most of the construction is affected by the rain,” said 40-year-old contractor Ravi.
Ravindra Garg, the Executive Engineer of North-II in Jaipur at the Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED), said that the department receives an order every year to put a stay on all constructions during monsoon but this year they didn’t. “Yet, after the department received a complaint, a week ago, all water pipeline work was stopped and only the remaining road construction was being carried out by the Nagar Nigam.”
Garg added that pipeline work would take at least one more month to finish.
Madhusudan Gena, the Executive Engineer in Jaipur Nagar Nigam Heritage, said, “PHED didn’t consult us before beginning the pipeline construction. If they would have, we would have asked them to do it in September. I don’t understand why does PHED want to construct a line. They destroy the road and the public gets mad at Nagar Nigam for being irresponsible.”
The road construction in Dinanath street and Mistri Khana road has been going on for two to three weeks according to the contractor, whereas a shopkeeper on Dinanath street said, the water pipeline construction began on March 16.
“It has been at least six months since this began. There has been a sharp decrease in customers because there is no way to reach the shop due to the construction,” a departmental store owner said.
Ridhi Sidhi Hardware store owner, Bharat Bhagchandani, 46, said, “Covid had already created so much problem and now this. They keep all their raw material in front of the shop due to which I have trouble opening the shop. I have talked to the contractor so many times, he keeps saying it’ll be over soon, but when?”
It is not just the shopkeepers who have been facing an issue with the construction, but also the residents and everyday commuters.
“Passersby face an issue every day, they’ve split open the whole road,” says Bhagchandani.
Chandraprakash Pareek, a resident of the area, says that two-three people in the street were facing a water issue and when they went to file a complaint the government decided to fix a pipeline in the whole area, creating problems for the residents.
“We used to get water properly, nothing has changed for us. They should’ve done the construction where it was needed, not in the whole area. Now it has become a problem for more than 100 people,” adds Pareek.
According to the area’s people, heavy rainfall on top of the construction work, only makes it worse.
Gena said the work constantly stops due to rainfall and Nagar Nigam was trying to finish it as soon as possible.
“Every time it rains, the construction completely stops and the roads stay in such bad condition for days,” Bhagchandani said.
The residents together went to Amin Kagzi, the area’s MLA since 2018, to complain about the condition of the roads and their troubles.
“After the complaint, the construction began again today, otherwise it had been on pause for days,” says the departmental store owner.
Kagzi said that the water pipeline has been put in place but it is yet to be checked for leakages, which would be done in the next 7-10 days.
Expressing his disappointment with the contractor, Kagzi said, “The contractor is very badmash [notorious]. He has troubled us a lot. I have constantly been at war with him. He wasn’t hired under our government. He was hired in 2017 by the BJP government. We have continued it under the Jal Jeevan Mission.”
Kagzi alleged that the project which was supposed to be of 52 crore has cost a lot more because of the delay caused by the contractor.
Jal Jeevan Mission was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2019, by restructuring National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP). The aim of the mission is to provide functional tap water connections to every household. According to the website of the Rajasthan government, “Government of Rajasthan and GOI would share the project cost in 50:50 ratio.”
Kagzi also added, “The delay is problematic but this is a good scheme, it would provide 24-hour water availability in the walled city.”
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