Sunday, June 16, 2024

PWD-PHED engaged in tussle over laying of pipes


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: Two major departments are engaged in a ‘cold war’ over the implementation of the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme (GSWSS) Phase III.

It is reported that the Public Works Department (PWD) is unhappy with the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) for carrying out the laying of the main feeder pipes as part of the GSWSS Phase III by destroying all major and internal roads across the city without any consent.

Official sources on Sunday informed that during a meeting convened by Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma the PWD made it clear that the PHE should deposit the necessary amount for repair of the roads after laying of the main feeder pipes.

The PHE was, however, adamant to the proposal of the PWD as the department wants to repair the road on its own, the sources said.

“The PWD made a valid argument that the PHE does not have the necessary skills and expertise in road construction and it should restrict itself in ensuring that the people of the State get clean drinking water,” the official sources added.

During the meeting convened by the Chief Minister, PWD officials also argued that the PHE should not interfere with the functioning of the PWD.

“The Chief Minister is deeply concerned over the ongoing tussle between the two departments and he is expected to convene a meeting shortly to resolve the issue,” the official sources added.

It may be mentioned that Kolkata-based Tantia Construction Limited (TCL) has been given the contract by the PHE for construction of 2 stages Raw Pumping system, augmentation of the capacity of the existing water treatment plant, laying of clear water gravity main and feeder main pipelines, construction of clear water pumping system package associated with augmentation of water supply to Shillong Urban centers of GSWSS Phase III under JNNURM.

The PHE had in September 2009, awarded the contract for Stage-III of the GSWSS to Tantia Construction Ltd at a cost of Rs 51.40 crore.

After the completion of Stage-III project, the GSWSS would generate 24 million litres of water per day and provide up to 135 litres per head per day of drinking water for about 5,12,000 residents of the city. At present Stage-I and II of the GSWSS generates only 85 litres of drinking water per head per day in the city.

The deadline for completion of phase III of the scheme has been extended on more than one occasion after it was inaugurated by the then President Pratibha Patil on October 22, 2008. The latest deadline for completion of the project is September 2013.

It may be noted that the project took off nearly two years after its inauguration due to a tussle between the PHE Department and Meghalaya Urban Development Authority over who should implement the project.


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