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Dehradun, October 9
A project, sponsored by Asian Development Bank (ADB), for laying 147-km drinking water lines and 167-km sewage pipes in the city is unlikely to meet the deadline of March, 2013. The ADB has already extended the deadline for the first phase of the project from August to March next year. Sources revealed that the ADB may scrap the project for repeated delay.

The contractors are blaming the delay on shortage of funds. Project officials are threatening them with huge penalties. Two contractors engaged for laying sewage lines, Jyoti Buildtech and Konarktech, are being replaced at this crucial juncture. It will take three months to complete the process of replacing them with new ones.
The project on paper started in August, 2010, but the actual work took off in February last year. The project has almost reached the half way mark. The pace of the project shows that it will require at least one more year to complete the remaining work.
Meanwhile, the task of repairing and carpeting roads, which were dug up before the monsoon, has not fully resumed. The residents are feeling aggrieved. Dinesh Aggarwal, Minister for Planning and Sports, said he would soon hold a meeting of ADB officials to tell them to speed up the work.
According to Project Deputy Director Anwar Khan, till date work on 80 km of drinking water lines had been completed with 30 per cent restoration work yet to be done. In case of drinking water project, only 77.5 km pipes had been laid. Executive Engineer SK Jain said the contractors would have to pay a heavy penalty for the delay.
Contractors are complaining of shortage of funds as well as the topography and climate of the city for the delay. A contractor said they had not received payment since May. ADB consultant Firoz khan blamed contractors for not keeping their documents updated, owing to which their payments had been delayed.
Additional General Manager, Vishwa Infotech, Raghunath said, “We could not work from June onward due to rain. Most of the work has to be done during night so that traffic is not disrupted. Besides, in many congested pockets of the city such as Khurbuda and Gandhi Gram, the old water, sewage and telephone lines are lying intermingled under the ground.” He assured of hiring more work force to speed up the project.
Jain said the work in congested areas had to be done in patches with one part of the road dug up and covered first. Given to this, the water pipe work in Khudbuda was completed only by 20 per cent, 10 per cent in Gandhi Gram, 15 per cent in the Municipal Corporation area and 80 per cent of the work in Dalanwala.
In the second phase, 400 km and in third phase 500 km of water lines would be laid in the city. Regarding sewage pipes, the entire Kargi zone comprising 65 per cent of the city is being covered. Anwar said 20 per cent of the remaining work was being done under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal scheme and the remaining 15 per cent would not take place due to gravitation problems. A small sewage treatment plant (STP) would be constructed here.
An STP is being constructed by the ADB in the Kargi area at a cost of Rs 57 crore. The budget for the sewage pipe work for the phase one is Rs 57 crore, while that of drinking water is Rs 40 crore. 


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