Jal Jeevan Mission completed in Srinagar, smart water meters in offing to check misuse: Officials

Jal Jeevan Mission completed in Srinagar, smart water meters in offing to check misuse: Officials

Srinagar: Srinagar has earned the distinction of being amongst the nine districts across the country that have achieved 100 cent percent implementation of the centrally-sponsored Jal Jeevan Mission to provide piped drinking water to every household, officials said Wednesday.

Authorities are now planning to install smart water meters across the city under the Srinagar Smart City Project to check misuse of the resource, the officials said.

Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal is another J&K district among the first nine across the country to have drinking water connections to every rural household under the Centre’s ‘Har Ghar Nal Se Jal’ (piped drinking water to every house) programme in the first year of its launch.

Officials said the completion of the JJM in Srinagar was the result of all out efforts of the concerned department after the district administration, led by deputy commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, set a deadline of August 15 to achieve the goal.

They said a district action plan — under the Jal Jeevan Mission — of Rs 16.5 crore was approved last month for providing individual tap water connections to over 1,500 leftover rural households spread over all four rural blocks of the district including Srinagar, Qammerwari, Khonmoh and Harwan.

With completion of the JJM, the existing scenario of coverage under tap water connections in rural Srinagar stands at over 10,600 connections, the officials said.

Expressing satisfaction over the completion of the JJM, District Development Commissioner, Srinagar, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said efforts are also afoot to address issues like massive misuse of water, and infrastructural gaps here and there.

“To tackle the former, smart water meters are being installed across the city under the Smart City project,” Choudhary, who is also the head of District Jal Jeevan Mission Committee (DJJMC), said.

The projects aimed at redressing other relevant issues concerning drinking water supply in Srinagar are also in the process of execution, he added.

He said around 90 million gallons of drinking water are supplied to Srinagar residents daily.

“This is more than the desired requirement of the district with a population that it has,” he said, adding this works out around 45 gallons or 200 litres as against 30 gallons or 135 litres of drinking water per capita per 24 hours.

To prevent misuse of tap water, Choudhary said the Srinagar administration is fast-pacing the water meter project the government has approved for the district.

“Under the project which is funded under the Smart City project each household and commercial establishment in the district will get a smart water meter installed as part of its water connection,” he said.

Choudhary, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Srinagar Smart City Limited, said engagement of a consultant for this project is under process and the execution of the project will begin in due course.

“Installation of smart water meters will prevent misuse of tap water and help resolve the water shortage problem experienced in tail-end areas of the district,” he said.

He stressed the need for technological and innovative interventions in the Jal Shakti department of the district to enable prompt redressal of concerns surrounding water distribution.

Last month, the Srinagar administration has drawn a comprehensive plan to address concerns surrounding shortage of water in some areas falling on the tail-end of a network of water distribution plants that the district gets drinking water from.

The plan includes a constitution of multi-departmental teams which will go on regular inspections in tehsils to curb illegal practices and check misuse of drinking water.

The teams are under strict instructions to take stringent action in the form of seizures and legal action against those found using booster pumps on direct water lines to their households as well as those using tap water for other purposes like irrigation or car-washing, the officials said.

They said the Deputy Commissioner had called for strict implementation of water-related laws like the water resources act 2010 to prevent misuse of tap water.

The DJJMC had also finalised the measures for water harvesting and conservation and accordingly, a project worth Rs 2.25 crore was approved for harvesting tanks. (PTI)

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