|Uncertainty over water supply from city plant|
GUWAHATI, June 23 - Nine days after the repair work of the damaged water pump at Satpukhuri water plant began, the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) is still clueless as to when it can resume the normal water supply from the unit.
The water supply pump got damaged in March this year and since then, water supply in Chandmari, Chandmari Colony, Kharghuli, Noonmati, Silpukhuri and the surrounding areas of the city has been severely hit, leaving the residents high and dry.
Residents are now getting drinking water only once in three days and that too for a few minutes. At many localities, people are forced to buy water from private parties at a high cost.
It is an irony that Guwahati city is continuously witnessing water scarcity, despite being blessed with the mighty Brahmaputra river flowing on the periphery.
A section of people is at risk of water-borne diseases as they are being forced to consume water from tubewells.
The municipality has claimed that the affected areas have been covered with water tankers, but, in reality, only a fraction of the people are getting the facility.
A source in the GMC said, “The Corporation brought an expert from Kolkata to repair the damaged pump and he has been continuously working since then. One part of the damaged pump still does not open. If it can be opened by tomorrow, we can provide sufficient water from Sunday onwards.”
The GMC has also sought replacement of the pump as its warranty is still valid.
“There are altogether three water pumps at Satpukhuri water plant to supply water to the people. The other two pumps have become old and their running capacity is getting reduced every year. We can operate the two pumps only for five hours instead of 16 hours and that is why people are getting less water in those areas,” the source added.
An inquiry is also on after citizens along with the former GMC mayor Mrigen Sarania, former deputy mayor Balendra Bharali and former councillor of ward number 4 Shyamal Kumar Chakraborty raised questions regarding the quality of the newly purchased machines after those became nonfunctional within days of being commissioned.
“The GMC has already asked the company for the replacement but it will take around four to five months to get the new set. The GMC had bought 26 water pumps from the Pune-based company Wilo Mather and Platt Pumps Private Limited. Due to the lockdown, the manufacturing work has not resumed there. And, it will take around three months to develop such a big water pump,” another source said.