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Hope floats for parched Jharia

MADA starts work on replacing old pipes

By Praduman Choubey in Dhanbad

  • Published 21.01.20, 12:40 AM
  • Updated 21.01.20, 12:40 AM
Residents collect water from Mada pipeline at Dhansar in Dhanbad on Monday.
Residents collect water from Mada pipeline at Dhansar in Dhanbad on Monday. Picture by Shabbir Hussain

Residents of Jharia, who have been reeling under an acute water crisis for the last five years, can heave a sigh of relief with Mineral Area Development Authority (Mada) speeding up the replacement of old and rusty pipelines that were laid more than 50 years ago.

Indresh Shukla, executive engineer-cum-technical member of Mada board, on Monday inspected the site for the construction of a sump at Dhansar, a prerequisite to start work on replacing the pipes.

Shukla was accompanied by officials of JMC Projects (India) Limited, a private agency, entrusted with the task of implementing the Rs 310-crore project.

“Besides replacing the existing pipeline from Jamadoba-based water treatment to Jharia-based tank of Mada and again from Jharia to Dhansar, we will build an intake well at Jamadoba on the bank of river Damodar and construct eight water treatment plants at various places in Jharia, Jamadoba and Dhansar,” Shukla told The Telegraph after inspection.

He said the replacement of pipelines and construction of the intake well and water treatment plants would be completed within 18 months. “The project also includes the supply of mine-pit water to households after proper filtration. Work on that is likely to begin after two months following the completion of survey,” Shukla said.

Shukla said they were currently facing some financial issues as the mobilisation of funds had been hit by the election and delay in the formation of government.

Mada supplies more than 176 lakh litres of water from the Damodar to Jharia and Katras through its Jamadoba-based treatment complex.

Around 105 lakh litres of water is supplied to Jharia and its adjoining areas while the rest is supplied to Kendua, Putki, Moondih and other areas of Katras.

The main water supply pipeline from Jamadoba to Jharia, which was laid more than 50 years ago, develops frequent leaks, leading to disruption in supply and wastage of water.

Many localities such as Baniahir and Surratand had to go without water for more than two months due to a fall in water pressure in the main pipeline after the development of leaks.