BERHAMPUR: Uninterupted supply of drinking water will continue to be a dream for residents of Berhampur for some more years. Considering the slow pace of work, the Janibili water supply project that is aimed at improving water supply to Greater Berhampur, is going to miss its deadline in November this year.
The `413 crore project, the foundation of which was laid by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in 2013, is aimed at addressing the drinking water crisis in Berhampur as well as Aska, Hinjilicut and 54 other villages in Ganjam district.
Tender for the construction work was floated after three years in 2016. The tender was bagged by Chennai-based M/s Larsen & Toubro and it involved a project cost of `431 crore, including `372.60 crore for works and `58.70 crore for operation and maintenance.
Work on the project was started on November 4, 2016 and it was planned to be completed by November 3 this year. The project entails drawing water from Janibili diversion weir through underground pipes of 58 km length and setting up of 100 MLD treatment water plant at Jagadalpur.
It was planned to supply water from the project to Aska, Hinjili and 54 villages before it reached Berhampur.
As per the agreement, L&T had committed to complete the project by November 2018. The project includes construction of an intake well, laying of pipeline on a patch of 58 km from Janibili to Berhampur, a treatment plant at Jagadalpur and laying of pipelines across Berhampur.
According to a field study conducted by TNIE, not even half of the project has been completed till now. Laying of pipeline has been completed in around 36 km out of the 58 km stretch. Similarly, pipeline has been laid on 170 km across Berhampur city against the target of 235 km. As far as the intake well is concerned, over 50 per cent of its construction has been completed but related works like power supply and construction of an overbridge has not started yet.
The implementing agency has been allowed to lay pipelines by the side of NH-59, PWD roads and private lands. The company has identified 400 persons on whose farm lands the pipes would be laid. Though the company dug up trenches to lay pipelines, they have not been laid so far as the lands are under paddy cultivation now.
Recently, the Chief Minister had expressed his displeasure over the delay and directed the State Housing and Urban Development department to take up the matter with L&T to ensure that the project is completed within the stipulated time. However, with more than 50 per cent of work pending, it is unlikely that the project can meet its deadline.