Relief for Hyderabad: Krishna Drinking Water Supply Project Phase III

Krishna Drinking Water Supply Project Phase III

The rapid increase in the urban population in Hyderabad, Telangana, has increased the challenge of delivering water to every household. At present, Hyderabad’s water demand is estimated at 625 million gallons per day (mgd). Against this, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) supplies about 385 mgd, leaving a demand-supply gap of 240 mgd. As most of the water sources currently in use have reached their withdrawal limits, this gap is expected to widen further in the medium term.

Given the increasing demand for drinking water in the city, developing the third phase of the Krishna Drinking Water Supply Project is the optimal solution. This was planned as well as approved by the state government in 2012. However, despite being one of the top priorities of the state government, the project has faced several challenges and delays. In December 2015, HMWSSB fully commissioned the Krishna Drinking Water Supply Project Phase III, supplying an additional 90 mgd of drinking water to the city.

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The Krishna Drinking Water Supply Project is projected to meet the city’s water demand till 2021. The project has been implemented in three phases for supplying 270 mgd of water. Phases I and II have been operational since March 2006 and March 2008 respectively. Phase I involved the supply of 45 mgd under Stage I and an additional 45 mgd in Stage II. Phase II involved the supply of 90 mgd of water.

Under Phase III, which has two stages, 90 mgd of water will be drawn from the Krishna river and supplied to Greater Hyderabad and to villages along the pipeline route in Nalgonda and Ranga Reddy districts. Under Stage I, 45 mgd of water will be supplied till 2016 and another 45 mgd under Stage II during 2016-21.

The scope of work under Phase III involved the laying of a 110 km pipeline from Kodandapur in Nalgonda to Sahebnagar in Ranga Reddy district, the construction of a raw water intake and pumping stations at Sunkesula in Nalgonda, and the construction of a water treatment plant (WTP) and installation of pumping equipment at Kodandapur, Nasarlapally and Godakondla and a master balancing reservoir (MBR) at Gungal. For speedy completion, the work was divided into 10 packages and awarded to different companies. Tata Consulting Engineers Limited was engaged for providing consultancy services. The work orders for all 10 packages were issued during the period November-December 2012.

Overall, the project involved an investment of Rs 16.7 billion. The state government contributed Rs 1.7 billion (10 per cent), and the remaining Rs 15 billion was raised as a loan from Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited. Construction work on the project commenced in end-2012 and was originally scheduled to be completed by January 2014.

However, the project missed several deadlines due to issues related to financing and clearances. Finally, in April 2015, HMWSSB started partial supply (45 mgd) of water. The remaining part was delayed due to litigation over the laying of a pipeline near Ramanaidu Studio, which was later completed, and a trial run was conducted in November 2015.

Going forward, the project is expected to provide huge relief to the water-stressed Hyderabad city. To maximise benefits from the project, HMWSSB will have to take appropriate steps to ensure judicious use of water and extend networks to keep pace with the demand for new connections.