Wednesday, August 5, 2009

140MGD water extra, but may not be enough

Frenzied activity is on at the Commonwealth Games Village site to finish two important projects by the end of this year. One is a dedicated 1 million gallon per day (MGD) water treatment plant (WTP) that will supply water exclusively to the Games Village. The other is a sewage treatment plant (STP) that will clean waste generated at the site and reroute it for non-potable uses.

Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials say the 50% of work on both projects has been completed and it will finish by December or January. ‘‘With the WTP in place, there will be no need for any further drinking water supply. We will follow strict treatment measures to ensure that the water quality meets all standards. Even the STP will have a membrane reactor technology that will ensure treatment at tertiary level,’’ said Santosh Vaidya, additional CEO, DJB.

Delhi is getting 826 MGD of treated water. By next year, DJB estimates that it will go up to about 966 MGD. However, even the extra water may not be able to solve all of Delhi’s problems unless distribution is improved. The capital is relying on 80 MGD water that it will get on the completion of the Munak canal. The canal, work on which started in May 2003 with the clause that it would be completed in 27 months, is stuck in controversy.

Recently, Haryana Irrigation Department announced that the delay was due to Delhi’s inability to acquire land for the last leg of the canal that is expected to save about 80 MGD in transmission losses. Delhi officials maintain that Haryana has been unable to complete several patches on its side and hence the delay. ‘‘Land has already been acquired by DJB for the project. Haryana officials first said that the canal would be ready by July but now they say it will be complete in December,’’ said Vaidya.

Water from Munak will be routed to three plants that have been set up specially for this. The Dwarka WTP is about 10-15% complete and will have a 40 MGD capacity. Okhla is about 20% complete. Both projects are likely to be commissioned next year. The 20 MGD Bawana plant is already complete and is waiting for water from Munak.

Additional 45 MGD water will also be available by beginning of next year after recycling plants in four WTPs are set up. The 16 MGD plant at Haiderpur has already been commissioned. An 11 MGD plant at Wazirabad, a 10 MGD plant at Bhagirathi and another 8 MGD plant at Chandrawal are under construction. About 11 lakh people will benefit.

The only things left to be done are construction of underground reservoirs and replacement of old and leaking pipe lines. According to sources, with about 50% of all DJBs transmission lines between 40 and 50 years old, there are frequent cases of pipe bursts. Officials say that about 100 km of the 700 km network requires immediate replacement. Work on 50 km has already been carried out while another 50 km is in the process of being replaced.

Work on underground reservoirs, essential for an equitable distribution of water, is however stuck due to various reasons. Delhi is to have a system of 112 UGRs. Only 24 of these have been commissioned so far. Sonia Vihar has a network of 28 UGRs, many of which are not complete. Officials say that 10 will be commissioned this year, 12 next year and land for 7 is yet to be acquired. ‘‘Some major UGRs got stuck since the contractor ran away. By the time we could re-tender it, the costs had escalated. Land acquisition for UGRs is another problem. Delhi barely has space and it is very tough to get land where it is required,’’ said a senior official.

Present water availability 826 MGD

Expected water availability by October 2010 966 MGD

Water from treatment plants 771 MGD

Plants operational

Wazirabad | 120 MGD

Nangloi | 40 MGD

Chandrawal | 90 MGD

Sonia Vihar | 140 MGD

Haiderpur | 200 MGD

Bhagirathi | 2100 MGD

Commonwealth Games site 1 MGD

In the pipeline

Dwarka | 40 MGD

Bawana | 20 MGD

Okhla | 20 MGD

Water from recycling plants

45 MGD Haiderpur plant is operational with a capacity of 16 MGD

In the pipeline

Wazirabad | 11 MGD

Bhagirathi | 10 MGD

Chandrawal | 8 MGD

Groundwater is about 150 MGD