Severe drinking water crisis has hit a vast range of areas in the Gauhati East constituency, the only urban constituency in the state, for the last seven days. The Gauhati Municipal Corporation (GMC), responsible civic body, has not taken any urgent steps to solve the issue despite repeated complaints.
Disruption of GMC water supply is frequent in the areas like Chandmari and Silpukhuri. The authority cites technical/ mechanical issues every time and refrain from making any remark on the prime issues including no proper service by the line supervisors and excess commissioning of pipelines from the reservoir.
A local of Rudranagar area told TOI, “One of the lineman named Hemanta Saloi comes to the reservoir from Hajo by travelling over 35 km and other one – Uddhab Sarkar travels over 45 km from Khetri, on the outskirts of the city, to the reservoir located on the top of the Navagraha hill. Therefore, they do not reach on time. They reach by 10 am or 11 am. Moreover, you will find the linemen inebriated at any time. They are least bothered about the consumers.”
He said the residents of the greater Rudranagar and Krishnanagar areas, where around 400 families reside, received supply water on June 27 for the last time.
The person further alleged that the linemen demand money from the consumers to open the lines. “You give them Rs 100, you will get water for the entire day. If you do not pay, you will not get water. We would like to urge the concerned authority and the minister to look into the matter as we are paying water bills every month despite not getting water,” the person added.
A GMC source said that the reservoir and the Satpukhuri water treatment plant (WTP) located at Uzanbazar area in the city, from where the water is pumped into the reservoir, have lost engineering life 30 years ago.
Satpukhuri WTP was commissioned in 1930 and was renovated in 1984. The designed capacity of the WTP was 22.5 MLD, which has gone down to 15.75 MLD now. The reservoir has a capacity of supplying 80 lakh liter per day.
“But, the GMC is still using the plant. Frequent disruption in water supply takes place since the WTP expired and the partial damage of the reservoir,” the source added.
The source further said that the corporation is now waiting for completion of the JICA-funded South Central Guwahati water project of a capacity of 191 million litres per day (MLD), which was started way back in 2011 and is still incomplete. The project cost was Rs 1,426 crore.