For providing 24X7 water supply in Manimajra, a project has been approved under the Smart Cities Mission. Tenders are being floated for the same, says Manoj Bansal, Chief Engineer, Municipal Corporation Chandigarh in conversation with Priya Yadav of Elets News Network (ENN).
What is the focus of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation now?
Our focus is on providing electricity, water and sewerage services to the citizens in a timely and better way and we are constantly working towards it.
Which projects are you focussing on to improve water supply to the citizens in Chandigarh?
At present, we are getting 58 million gallons of water from Kajauli water works. We are increasing this capacity to 87 million gallons per day. The work from our side is completed in this project. Currently, the Punjab Irrigation Department is working in Kajauli. Once their work gets completed, the canal water capacity will increase from 58 million gallons to 87 million gallons per day. The amount of water which citizens will get next summer will increase as also the water supply will be available for more hours per day. We will ensure equitable distribution of water among the citizens. The population of the city has grown immensely in the last 20 years.
How has the Municipal Corporation increased its water capacity over the years to cope up with the growing demand?
The population of the city has increased by 50 percent in the last two decades and to keep pace with the growth in demand the water supply capacity has also been increased by the same percentage point.
What challenges are you facing to increase the water supply and what steps are you taking to resolve them?
The water supply line from Kajauli to Sector 39 was started in 70s and the Phase II got completed in 1980-81. The phase III and phase IV were completed in 1994. The lines which were laid in 80s are now 40 years old. We are facing problem of leakages in those lines. We need sufficient funds to upgrade them and the efforts are on to ensure that. There have been reports of water theft by breaking into the water pipes in the slum areas. How serious is this problem? Earlier the pipes were of cement or plastic, which led to theft. But now these cement and plastic pipes are being replaced by DA pipes which cannot be punctured. We expect that this will certainly solve the problem on hand.
What other projects are you undertaking?
The carpeting of roads is being done by us for every five years. We are maintaining eight primary schools and 27 primary health dispensaries. Some new dispensaries are being constructed in Sector 39 and Sector 50. Under Smart Cities Mission, we are upgrading the sewerage treatment plants at a cost of Rs 350 crores. Request for Proposals are being prepared. For providing 24X7 water supply in Manimajra, the project has been approved under the Smart Cities Mission. Tenders are being floated.
We have also replaced 42,000 street lights with LED lights. Under a project of Rs 20 crores, 9,310 dark spots of Chandigarh will be covered with streetlights and the replacement of worn out and damaged cables will be done by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). We are maintaining 1,800 neighbourhood parks. We have given one third parks to resident welfare associations who are maintaining it themselves. We are also building compost pits so that the horticulture waste can be utilised directly.