The much awaited new vented dam work across the Netravati river at Tumbe, which would meet the city’s water requirements for five months with zero inflow is progressing in a snail’s pace.
Though the work had started in last February, the contarctors have been able to complete only 40 per cent of civil works. It has created doubts about finishing the work within the target period, which is by the end of 2013.
The Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB) officials blame Rithwik-Sapna Projects Ltd, which handles the venture. Speaking to Deccan Herald, KUWSDB Executive Engineer L N Anand expressed his disappointment as the contractors are yet to start with day and night work, though several notices have been served to them for delaying construction.
“They could have finished it by the end of 2012,” he said and added that the Board has recovered Rs 50 lakh as penalty. “Now they have assured of finishing civil works in June third week and completing machanical works by the end of June 31. We will wait till June. This will be the last chance for them,” he said. About possibilities of new contract, he said that it takes more time and may cause financial burden.
Anand claimed that the work is delayed also because contractors get only 2 to 5 months in a year to work. It is challenging to work in riverbed, but contractors can’t claim it as a reason. They should finish the work in available time.
Estimated cost doubles
Meanwhile, the estimated cost of 250 metre width dam has gone up to Rs 75.5 crore from the earlier Rs 40 crore, which is yet to be approved by the government. Still, according to the official, there is no financial problem as the governemnt has released Rs 19.75 crore for the project and only about Rs 14 crore has been spent. “Once the foundation work gets over, then the machanical work starts which needs more money,” Anand said.
Explaining the reasons about increased estimated cost, Anand said that Torsteel Research Foundation of India (TRFI) has suggested to improve the grade of concrete and the quantity of the concrete has also been increased. The geologists from Karnataka Power Corporation (KPC) have suggested to improve the foundation quality. The earlier estimation is proved unscientific, he said.
MCC says ‘no worry’
Meanwhile, Mangalore City Corporation officials say that people need not worry over water scarcity because of the delay in the construction of new dam. MCC Commissioner Harish Kumar said that as the catchment areas of the river have received good rains this mansoon, the dam has enough water to meet the demands of City.
KUWSDB Assistant Engineer Shamsuddin also agrees to this point. Recently new scheme has been implemented by Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC) under Karnataka Urban Development and Coastal Environmental Management Project (KUDCEMP) to increase the capacity of water supply system to 160 Million Letres per Day (MLD) from 80 MLD. Now water is also made available to Ullal, Mulki and adjacent industries including MCF and Harbour.