GUWAHATI, Nov 27: Left Democratic Party (LDP) on Friday demanded detailed report on the present status of the Greater Guwahati water supply project, which was launched in 2009 during Congress regime.
“The BJP government is about to complete its five year term and yet we have not seen any progress,” the LDP said in a statement here.
The LDP said that Centre has a norm of supplying 135 litres per capita per day (lpcd) water supply to towns and cities not equipped with sewerage system and 150 lpcd for metro cities with sewerage. If we applied the norm of 135 lpcd to Guwahati, then it comes to a water demand of at least 229 mld (Million Litres Per Day) by the residents.
“But in reality total installed capacity in Guwahati is only 75.5 mld and out this 40% or 30.2 mld, is lost as leakages. This is the actual reality of water supply in the city”, the release said.
Assam government had taken up four major water supply projects in order to provide affordable, reliable, safe and continuous (24×7) supply of potable water to the Guwahati Metropolitan Area, with the funding from government of India (JNNURM) for the South West region, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the North and South Central regions and ADB for the South East region.
Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) is implementing these projects through the independent Project Management Consultant/Implementation Units (PMC/PIU). The Guwahati Jal Board will be responsible for operation and maintenance of these facilities upon their completion. The water supply projects in GMA are divided into different zones funded by different organisations as shown in the map, it said.
LDP state chairman Holiram Terang said, “On December 2019, the Guwahati Development Department minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya assured in the Assam Legislative Assembly that proposed water supply projects “will definitely finish” by 2022. Our question is after months of lockdown is it still on the track to complete it by then? It’s been a decade since the project started. How long will people of Guwahati will wait even for the basic services?”
LDP state president Guna Gogoi said, “Apart from the municipal corporation, the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) and Guwahati Metropolitan Drinking Water & Sewerage Board also supply water to some parts of the city. Why we cannot have a single agency to look after the water supply in the city. We have so many projects going on and yet Guwahati still struggling for potable water. We demand the Government to publish a white paper providing details of each of these projects and the expected timeline for completion.”
The LDP alleged that the government is using these projects as “Goose that lays golden eggs” and this is the reason why these projects are still not completed even after a decade from its inception.