Guwahati's 'Water Supply Project' aims to tackle the city's water crisis
Guwahati is the main city in the state of Assam and the largest metropolis in North-eastern India. Dispur, the headquarter of the Assam Government is a part of the Guwahati circuit city region. The city is located on the south bank of the Brahmaputra and is also known as the ‘Gateway to North East India.’ Guwahati city is situated in the Kamrup Metropolitan District.
Read more: Assam at a Glance 2019
In recent years, Guwahati has experienced rapid population growth due to people migrating from smaller towns from all over northeastern India for better education and employment opportunities.
This population increase has led to the undesirable expansion of the city and has resulted in various problems such as a rise in waste, congestion in the roads, an increase in the number of slums, and scarcity of water.
Read more: Water Supply | Guwahati Municipal Corporation | Government Of Assam, India
The Guwahati Municipal Corporation has three plants at Panbazar, Silpukhuri, and Kamakhya. There are nine operational deep wells located throughout the city in addition to these plants.
The Guwahati Municipal Corporation also has twelve mobile water tankers with varying capacities that deliver water within the corporation’s boundaries.
Read more: Drinking Water in Guwahati City: Its Past, Present Status and Associated Problems
The municipality provides tankers or piped supplies of water to meet the majority of the population’s drinking water demands. However, there is a mismatch between supply and demand, and the water that is provided is scarce and irregular.
Read more: Brahmaputra’s dry city: Why Guwahati faces crippling water crisis – EastMojo
As per the Guwahati Municipal Corporation, the installation capacities of the water plant can only cover approximately 30% of the total population.
Read more: Water Crisis In Guwahati East Assembly Constituency Continues – Sentinelassam
The Guwahati Municipal Corporation has taken up four major water supply projects in order to provide an affordable and continuous supply of potable water. The four projects have received funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), and Asian Development Bank (ADB). The project claims to provide 433 million liters of water a day once completed.
Read more: Water Supply Projects | Guwahati Development Department | Government Of Assam, India
The water supply project was sanctioned in 2009 at a cost of Rs. 389.53 crores. According to sources, after the implementation of the project it has missed several deadlines since April 2015. The completion date was pushed further on several occasions and the project is yet to be completed.
The current estimate of the project has gone up to Rs. 1426 crore and the project was expected to be completed by 2022. As of now, 2000 liters of water cost Rs. 400 up to 5 km, Rs. 530 up to 5-10 km, and Rs. 600 plus an additional Rs. 40 for additional km beyond 15 km.
Update on the Project
On 21st December 2022, the Ceremonial Partial Commissioning of the JICA-assisted Guwahati water supply project was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Assam.
‘The Partial commissioning of the JICA-assisted Guwahati Water Supply Project is expected to meet the drinking water requirement in some localities before it covers the entire city’,
the Chief Minister says on Twitter
Since 28th December 2022, the Guwahati Jal Board has been inviting applications from residents, institutions, housing societies, and apartments for hygienic drinking water within the project area.
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