Supply of potable water under GSWSS Phase III a distant dream

SHILLONG, Aug 6: The dream of supplying potable water to the residents of Shillong city under the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme (GSWSS) Phase III is still a distant dream since laying of new distribution lines is incomplete.

According to Mawphlang legislator, S. K. Sunn the contractors of Public Health Engineering (PHE) department refused to work at the existing rate since it was finalised by schedule of rates in 2008-2009.

Sunn said to re-start any work after a gap of 8-9 years at the rates quoted then would be unimaginable for contractors.

He said that the government should give a commitment to the local contractors to go ahead with laying of distribution network and to revise the contract as per the rules from 2013 till the present day.

Sunn who retired as Chief Engineer of the PHE department stated that laying of pipelines under the GSWSS came to a halt in 2013, when the PWD withdrew permission granted to the PHE department for digging up the roads to lay new distribution lines.

He told reporters that after the formation of a new government in 2013, the then PWD minister refused to allow the PHE to continue with its work to lay the pipes in Shillong Urban Centers.

Sunn, who is the chairman of the Committee on Environment took up the matter of Unaccounted for Water (UFW) since it is a part of climate change adaptation programme and the Committee said that the PWD assured the PHE to restart the laying of distribution pipes.

He said that the Phase III was designed to reduce the high percentage of UFW or losses prevailing in the existing system, phase I and II. At present the total UFW is 55 per cent.

“The UFW due to leaking pipes will reduce to 15 per cent from 55 per cent by replacing the pipes laid from Mawphlang to Shillong,” Sunn said.

The phase III of the project was sanctioned by the Union Ministry of Urban Development under JNURRM in 2008 at a cost of Rs 193.47 crore.