Guwahati: Guwahati’s unscrupulous private water providers have raised tariffs by more than 200%, leaving consumers with no option as the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) failed to restore household tap water supplies, even after a three-week interruption.
GMC’s water supply has been suspended since June 15 after a major landslide partially damaged the water tank located at the top of Navagraha Hill and the pumping pipe through which water is pumped from the British era Satpukhuri water treatment plant to the reservoir.
The water crisis has forced families living in Chitrachal hill, Navagraha hill and its surroundings, where there are no passable roads, to depend either on streams or pits, where water flows from the hill, for their daily needs.
Residents of areas with passable roads have complained that unscrupulous private water providers have taken advantage of the situation and raised water tariffs. “I bought 1,300 liters of water for Rs 1,800. They charge Rs 1,400 for 1,000 liters. The price is very high; but we have no choice but to buy. It’s been about 20 days since we’ve had no tap water. We heard from GMC that it would take a few more weeks to restore the water supply,” said Usha Saikia by Nizarapar.
Meanwhile, a GMC official said restoration work is progressing well and service will resume soon. “We need to raise 36 pillars to support the main pipeline, through which water is pumped into the reservoir which was damaged by the landslide during the incessant rains in June. Separately, the repair of the reservoir has also progressed by The tank had several leaks which resulted in the waste of several thousand liters of water every day,” the official said.
Disruption in water supply affected large parts of the city including Chandmari, Silpukhuri, Uzanbazar, Milanpur, Piyoli Phukan Nagar, Kharghuli, Krishna Nagar and Rudranagar.
It can be mentioned that Satpukhuri sewage treatment plant was commissioned in 1930, the oldest sewage treatment plant in the city, and was renovated in 1984. The plant, which has a production capacity of 22.5 million liters of water per day (MLD), lost his life as an engineer about 30 years ago.
The GMC is awaiting completion of the JICA-funded South-Central Guwahati Water Project with a capacity of 191 million liters per day, which started in 2011.