ITS AMBITIOUS 24-hour water supply project mired in controversy, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) gave another chance to the France-based contractor for the Water Distribution Improvement Programme (WDIP) after it failed to take off in the last five years. A year’s extension was awarded to the contractor for the Rs 250-crore project.
In 2014, Suez Environment got the contract to work on 10 services such as GIS (geographic information system) mapping of all water networks, survey of slum connections, consumer survey, call centre for consumers and introduction of leakage detection system. The contract ended in May this year.
According to civic officials, the contractor got the task to finish remaining work in the next one year. As of now, the 24-hour water supply project was started in Bandra and Mulund on a pilot basis. “We have granted one-year extension to the contractor so that it can finish the remaining work. Decision on termination of the contract will be taken next year. We are closely monitoring the progress of the project. The delay took place due to reasons such as unavailability of data,” said Pravin Darade, Additional Municipal Commissioner and in-charge of the hydraulic engineering department of the BMC.
Earlier, corporators had slammed the civic administration for not being able to execute the project on time. Bandra corporator Asif Zakaria, who had been vocal against the project’s failure, said, “How can the work that could not be completed in five years be executed in one year? The extension to the contractor is to hide the civic body’s faults. The 24-hour water supply project cannot be implemented since there are different dynamics in different areas. It is a failed project and the civic administration should accept it.”
Earlier, the BMC had started its pilot project of 24-hour water supply in Bandra but it did not go down well as residents had complained that there was no improvement in the supply.