Separate agency to monitor water distribution in city

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The State Government has decided to constitute a separate Water Agency before June next year to overlook the water distribution system in the whole city.

“We have constituted a new committee which would work out the modalities for this separate Water Agency. The agency would be put in place before the commissioning of the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme Phase III,” Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh said after a joint meeting of the Urban Affairs and PHE departments on Friday. Ampareen also informed that a deadline of September next year has been fixed for commissioning of Phase III of the water supply project.

It may be mentioned that at present, both the PHE and Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) are sharing the distribution of water to the various households in the city.

With two different bodies sharing the responsibilities, a lot of confusion emerges whenever there is a breakdown in the water distribution system with neither the PHE nor the SMB willing to own up to their responsibilities.

She mentioned that the present distribution system would not be withdrawn until the new distribution system becomes fully functional.

“The Internal Review Monitoring Agency (IRMA) would be inspecting the GSWSS project in November to assess the progress of the project,” she added.

Ampareen also attributed the delay in commissioning the project to the ten per cent cut imposed by the Centre due to the failure of the State Government in implementing two major reforms – putting in place elected municipal boards and implementing the community participation bill – which is necessary under JNNURM rules.

Out of the total Rs 193.74 crore sanctioned for this major project, around Rs 20 crore would be deducted due to this ten percent cut, she informed.

Ampareen, however, said that the State Government, which had earlier requested the Union Government to allow it to nominate ward commissioners for the municipal boards, has been receiving some positive response from the Centre.

The Urban Affairs Minister said that she was hopeful that the State Government would be able to resolve the deadlock over the two pending reforms on urban governance.

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