Mission Bhagiratha: Old pipes in state will slow down water flow

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HYDERABAD: Old pipeline network in several habitations in Telangana poses a major challenge to the government in its mission to supply water with 100 LPCD (litre per capita per day) as the benchmark.

The existing network spread over an accumulated length of about 30,000-km in hundreds of villages is of only 40 LPCD capacity. These pipelines were laid from time to time by the local panchayats.

Even the main pipes of higher size that have been laid from the water source to the village entry point are of smaller diameter compared to the size of pipes being used as part of the Mission Bhagiratha project. Officials admitted that the diameter or size of the existing distribution lines in rural areas is between 60 mm and 80 mm. As a result, there are apprehensions that there would be huge disparities in quantity of water being supplied i.e., LPCD from village to village because pipelines being laid as part of Mission Bhagiratha are of 150 mm-400 mm in size.

While the pipelines procured for Mission Bhagiratha have the capacity to supply higher quantity of water at the rate of 100 LPCD per person in every habitation, the old pipeline can cater to only 40 LPCD.

Also, the old pipes are made of Reinforced Concrete Cement (RCC) where as the Mission Bhagiratha pipes are made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) or Poly Venylchloride (PVC).

When contacted, Rural Water Supply engineer-inchief Surender Reddy admitted that the old pipeline network is spread over 30,000 km length in rural habitations.
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“We are not going to replace the entire network because it will be a massive exercise and will require huge funds. But wherever the main pipeline needs to be replaced to increase the capacity of water flow from the source to a village, will be replaced. If the pipelines in villages are damaged or need refurbishment, even those will be replaced. It is going to be need-based. To ensure 100 LPCD supply, the duration of water supply will be increased,” he said.

He further added that over 30,000-km new pipeline network will be laid, including replacement of old one, to cover all rural habitations under the Mission Bhagiratha.