Gorantla water project moving at a snail’s pace

Though the construction works started in 2019, due to various reasons, including delay in getting required permissions, unavailability of suitable land, and the Covid-19 pandemic, the project got dela
Image used for representational purpose. (Express illustrations)
Image used for representational purpose. (Express illustrations)

GUNTUR: Even after six years, there is no respite for the residents of Guntur Municipal Corporation (GMC) limits, as the construction works of the long-pending Gorantla water reservoir are progressing at a snail’s pace. Under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), a drinking water project was initiated at Gorantla with an estimated cost of Rs 33 crore in 2017.

The 53 MLD project includes a 10-km pipeline and two reservoirs, one with 600 KL and another with 4,200 KL capacity, aiming to provide drinking water to about 2.34 lakh people in the merged villages under the corporation limits.

In 2010, as many as 10 villages were merged with GMC, including Gorantla, Reddypalem, Pedapalakaluru, Nallapadu, Chowdavaram, Naidupet, Potturu, Ankireddypalem, Etukuru and Budampadu villages. Since then, the civic body has been providing drinking water through water tankers which is far from sufficient. So for the past decade, the people in these villages and in the tail-end parts of the city have been suffering from insufficient drinking water and the situation is even worse during summer.

Though the construction works started in 2019, due to various reasons, including delay in getting required permissions, unavailability of suitable land, and the Covid-19 pandemic, the project got delayed. With GMC commissioner Kirthi Chekuri’s initiative, the construction works were restarted. While the construction of one reservoir is completed, slab works of the second reservoir are yet to be finished. However, laying of the pipeline connection from the reservoirs on the hilltop to the underground pipelines is the bottleneck of the project.

Speaking to TNIE, GMC superintendent engineer Bhaskar said that the construction works are at a slow pace due to fund crunch. In the past few months, works worth Rs 5 to Rs 6 crore have been completed, and the contractor did not receive the total sum. So, the works have been halted. He also said that the civic body has served notices to the contractor to restart the works immediately, and if necessary, GMC will take up the remaining construction works to complete the project.

Along with this, the source improvement of the Gorantla project is the 40 MLD capacity filtration plant at the headwater works to be constructed with Rs 125 crore allotted by the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank is yet to be finished. Unless the treatment plant is completed, the Gorantla project can not be utilised at its full capacity. So, the officials are planning to simultaneously complete both projects to provide safe drinking water to the people.

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