Nagpur 24x7 water projects an experiment and a testimony
Nagpur 24x7 Water Projects - An Experiment and a Testimony
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Nagpur 24x7 water projects an experiment and a testimony
Nagpur 24x7 Water Projects - An Experiment and
In the sphere of urban development and economic sustainability, it is pivotal
to acquire and study as much data as possible. Analysis and learnings from
past and on-going projects is necessary for determining the success of future
projects and the allocation of national and local budgets.
With this in mind, nations such as India must plan decades ahead in order to
achieve the desired growth. With a growing population of 1.2 billion people
and a scarcity of resources, it is imperative that the Government take swift
actions towards long term goals. Water, and its availability, is one such
resource which is seen as not only a necessity but an indicator of general
well-being. Urban India is often found struggling to provide citizens with
clean drinking water and the situation only becomes worse as people migrate
from the towns and villages to surrounding cities.
Nagpur, the third largest city in Maharashtra, is a great example of a local
government taking action to cope with the increasing demands of its
inhabitants. Due to rapid urbanisation of Nagpur across the last two decades,
the challenges for adequate water supply have also increased. Availability of
water has been inconsistent and ranges from a few hours a day to a slightly
rare but possible, few minutes a day. Compounded with this is the
mismanagement of water distribution leading to losses of up to 60%. In
addition quality of water is frequently found to be below drinking standards.
In 2012, in order to face this gigantic challenge the Nagpur Municipal
Corporation chose to enter in to a Public Private Partnership, a landmark
move in the history of the Government working hand-in-hand with the
private sector. Nagpur essentially opened it's doors and mind to an
opportunity that would help build a streamlined and efficient model which
could be replicated in the future.
Nagpur became the first city in India to build a 24/7, fully pressurised
drinking water supply system. A joint venture company aptly named Orange
City Water was created and entered a concussion contract under the
Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM)
An expansive requirement for infrastructural upgradation and replacement
means that it will take a minimum of five years to connect every citizen with
24/7 water supply. On their end, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation will
retain ownership of the assets and will take responsibility of setting up the
tariffs. Orange City Water will operate all the water treatment plants and the
water distribution network, amounting to a combined capacity of ~750 MLD
The goal is to eventually connect the entire city, including the slum
population with a safe supply of water, better in quality and pressure. Water
wastage is a great concern and this hope is to reduce it significantly, through
the better maintenance of storage systems, pipes and taps.
During our interview with him, CEO of Vishvaraj Infrastructures, the driving
force behind Napur 24x7 water supply project, Mr. Arun Lakhani shared a
poignant view on this matter. "Our nation's government needs to see private
players not just as tax-paying entities but partners of development. PPPs
need to set their goals high in order to gain the most from the benefits."
The benefits are of this PPP model can only be understood and appreciated
by comprehending the advantages that are gained through a 24/7 water
24x7 supply translates to a better public health. Maintaining full pressure
removes the risk of bacterial contamination that can occur during interrupted
A PPP in this sector ensures a massive improvement in the services provided
to all consumers, who henceforth are seen as customers. An increase in
quantity, improvement in timing and consistency in availability across all
starts of society is not just expected but required from an economic
Service to the poor and to the rich is seen through a non-biased viewer. 24x7
supply means all citizens can hope to enjoy better health and hygiene which
preventing the loss in economically productive time earlier used for
collecting and carrying water. Indirectly, this saves time for employment
24x7 allows customers to pay for better service as it reduces the costs they
earlier incurred for coping with the inconsistencies.
Through efficient management overflowing storage systems are avoided and
collected water is prevented from being discarded when new water arrives.
A PPP model ensures that the use of technology is given priority and in this
way conservation is encouraged through metering and state-of-the art
monitoring systems. This helps achieve management and operational
efficiencies and reduces illegal connections.
Before concluding, it is necessary to go back to the start. The idea is not just
to take action but begin an initiative so that one can learn from mistakes and
evolve. It is impossible to put a system into place without overcoming
challenges, correcting flaws and understanding changing requirements. The
Nagpur Municipal Corporation has taken the first step towards the future, but
the path will surely bring forth several challenges. "Let hurdles be a learning
opportunity and not a reason to stop the development of our nation", says Mr.