10 years on, Dhanbad water supply scheme still not ready

A view of the L&T water treatment plant at Jamadoba in Dhanbad
A view of the L&T water treatment plant at Jamadoba in Dhanbad

More than 10 years later and even after several deadlines, Dhanbad water supply scheme is yet to be completed in the district.

Jharkhand drinking water and sanitation department (DWSD), which is executing the project, has failed to meet various deadlines, including the latest 1-month time limit given by Dhanbad deputy commissioner Amit Kumar.

The project is aimed at providing treated river Damodar water to areas of Dhanbad which are not covered by the two existing water supply schemes of Jharkhand Mineral Area Development Authority and Dhanbad Municipal Corporation.

Notably, Dhanbad mayor Chandrashekhar Agarwal had last year pulled up L&T authorities for the delay in execution of the project and instructed for its speedy completion. The L&T authorities, however, cited leakages in rising pipelines of different water towers established under the project as the reason for the delay.

Rahul Priyadarshi, sub-divisional officer of Range 1 of the drinking water and sanitation department, said, “Work on the project is under progress and we are expecting to hand over the project very soon.”

Sources in the DWSD, however, said a pre-condition in handing over the project at the completed stage is the reason behind the delay. The department wanted to deliver the project fully completing it with water flowing through all the 36 towers, the sources said, adding that problems faced L&T in transferring the land for building water towers and laying water pipelines caused the setback. In addition, the sources said, water towers built several years ago are not functioning properly.

Apart from this, some pending payment to L&T by the DWSD is also a reason for the delay in handing over of the project.

Ward 40 councillor Jay Prakash said, “Had the project been completed on time, several households in our ward, which are currently dependent of well water or handpumps, would have received safe drinking water in their house.” The councillor added that they are eagerly waiting for the completion of the project.

Notably, the central government’s ambitious project, which began in 2011 and was conceptualised under the millennium city project of Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission, scheduled to be completed in 2014, suffered a setback of more than five years due to several procedural delays, including a lack of no-objection certificate (NoC) for establishing overhand tanks from the BCCL in underground fire-affected areas and another NOC for laying of pipelines passing through the railway track.

The project was later divided into two parts, including the Sindri part and Jamadoab part for the convenience of execution.

The Sindri part, which required the construction of a water treatment plant of 13.5 million litre per day capacity, besides an intake wall of 19 million litre per day was already made operational in 2016. The part also comprised building five overhead tanks besides laying of 84kms of pipeline.

The Jamadoba phase of the project, which comprised construction of water treatment plant of 143 million litre per day capacity, an intake well of 183 million litre per day and laying over 260 km of pipeline, besides installation of over 31 overhead tanks, was, however, delayed due to several factors.

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