ANDHRA PRADESH

80 p.c. work on new filtration plant completed: official

Special Correspondent

While two service reservoirs are ready, three others are in different stages



The Central Government is meeting 80 per cent cost of the scheme

Officials are now proposing to extend the pipeline to new areas



ONGOLE: Public Health Department is confident of completing the Rs. 16-crore drinking water augmentation scheme in Ongole town by December end after a delay of nearly two years.

The scheme envisaged construction of second filtration plant with a capacity of 16 million litres per day (mld) and six overhead reservoirs to improve pressure in the mains and supply drinking water every day instead of once in three days as in vogue for the last several years. Executive Engineer, A Satyanarayana said on Tuesday that 80 per cent of work on the filtration plant has been completed. While two service reservoirs are ready, three others are in different stages of completion and they would be completed in the next two months.

Work on the sixth reservoir could not be started due to land problems. As the residents opposed its construction near FCI godowns, revenue officials allotted land in Indiramma colony nearby for the purpose. But public health officials found the soils too weak to bear the load. Its load bearing capacity was only five tonnes per square meter as against minimum required level of 10 tonnes per squaremetre. So an alternative site has been found near Kothapatnam bus stand and work on the reservior would start soon, he said.

The Central Government is meeting 80 per cent cost of the scheme while the State government is providing the balance amount. The augmentation scheme would however improve water supply only to a marginal level in the town. Reason?

The scheme has left out the distribution lines untouched. Though the pumping and filtration capacities have increased, there is no improvement in the delivery system. The scheme has not taken up extension of the pipeline to new areas nor it increased the capacity of the existing distribution system.

The Public Health Department had deleted improvements to the distribution system for want of funds. It is now proposing to remodel the entire distribution system at a cost of Rs. 50 crore. So people had to wait for the sanctioning and execution of the system to reap the full benefits of augmentation scheme.

The existing distribution lines were laid way back in 1964 when the town population was only 60,000. The town has grown to new areas while the density of population has doubled and trebled in the old areas. So the officials are now proposing to extend the pipeline to new areas and replace the pipeline with higher diameter in old areas to meet the needs of the people completely.