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Efficient 24x7 water supply by public sector in Malkapur

Apr 09, 2013

The Malkapur 24X7 water supply project is the first public sector initiative to ensure safe water provision to the entire town and check inequalities in water distribution.

Despite the implementation of the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (1972), the Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission (1986) and Natioanl Rural Drinking Water Programme (2009), a large proportion of rural households in India face severe health risks and hardships on account of lack of access to safe and clean water.

Most of the initiatives for ensuring water supply to such households have a large private sector base, leading to high cost of services being passed on to consumers as well as unsustainability of the programme.

Against this background, in 2010, the Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran and the Malkapur Nagar Panchayat launched a water supply project for provision of safe water to the entire town around the clock. It is a first public sector initiative in the country.

It utilises a variety of innovative approaches to maintain the physical and financial sustainability of the system. These include the use of a model based on WaterGEMS software, high density polyethylene pipes to check leakages and ensure durability, automated meter reading system, and a telescopic tariff system. One of the most significant factors for the success of the project has been the extensive involvement of all stakeholders at every stage of project development.

Currently, the Malkapur 24X7 water supply system is successfully supplying water round-the-clock to the entire town with 110 lpcd, having reduced the consumption of water by nearly 30 percent. The operational cost of the system has decreased by INR 75,000 per month. The quality of water supplied under the system has consistently been adjudged 100 per cent potable.

Revenue generation has drastically increased to show a surplus of INR 4 lakh per annum instead of hitherto existing deficit of INR 30 lakh. The project received the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration in 2009-2010 and the Urban Water Awards for Technical Innovations awarded by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India in December 2011.

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