Low voltage power coupled with Loktak project shutdown behind piped water shortage

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IMPHAL June 25: A scheduled shutdown of the Loktak Project which began from May 3 last has effected the workings of the Public Health and Engineering Department and led to an artificial scarcity of water in the main Imphal area; the Loktak project is presently undergoing major repair works after getting permit from the North East Regional Power Committee (NERPC) and approval from the 61 Operation Coordinating Committee meet held at Guwahati recently.

The PHE department yesterday finally announced that due to low voltage of electricity at the Iril water pumping station, water cannot be transferred from the pipes to Porompat water supply, hence water will be rationed and the water tankers will be entertained only for Sanjenthong VIP area, JNIMS and DDK on a priority basis.

The Porompat Water Supply is the largest water supplier in Imphal East area which distributes in three phases and caters to public supply through three main pipelines; pumps water to three zonal reservoirs located at Khurai Sajor Leikai, Lainingthou Awangba and Hatta Minuthong.

Addressing the limitations of the Porompat station, assistant engineer of PHED, maintenance, division number 2, Ksh Tombi told IFP that to distribute water effectively, the intake from Iril river has to be done 24/7 and pump operations are done manually. The 100 horsepower pump at the Iril station needs a power supply of 390 volts to operate.

“The pumps nowadays operate mainly from midnight till 9am, when the voltage is high, but the rest of the day, due to the erratic power supply cannot operate the pumps effectively. It functions for hardly 8 hours per day and the operational capacity of the Porompat water supply has gone down by one third”.

He further explained that the three water supply schemes of Porompat is supposed to provide 2.27 mld (million litres per day) to JNIMS, DDK and water tankers and 4.54 mld for the three public water pipes and less than 2mld for the three zonal reservoirs.

“We are supposed to provide at a capacity of 135 litres per day for an individual, however due to the power problem, we are able to provide hardly 70 litres. We have got numerous complaints from the public, specially from the Khurai area”, he added.

The AE said that if the Thoubal Multipurpose Project is finally made operational, then it has the capacity to pump 45 million litres per day and will reached even the greater Imphal area which would eventually solved the water scarcity problem.

“As a component of the Maphou Dam, the pipelines can be laid out by 2014 at the least”, he said.

A power predicament is also faced by Koirengei Water Supply Scheme which receives power voltages upto 330 only. A staff of the supply scheme said “We have a capacity to treat and distribute one lakh litres per day, now we hardly manage to pump 50,000 litres, we must have a dedicated power line at the earliest”.

Meanwhile, when power officials were contacted in the regard, they blamed the scheduled shutdown of the Loktak Hydro Electric Power Station since May 3 for the power fluctuation.

“The repairs are underway and the shutdown had been extended from June 15 till June 25, the three power generating units are repaired now and by the month’s end will start operations. At present we are providing electricity leased from the Hydel and Thermal projects from Assam, Nagaland and Tripura”.

The officials maintained that due to the small diameter of the power cables, the voltages are lost in transmission and is presently in an overload situation. “The Sate requires at least 106 megawatts per day and normally we get less than a hundred.” He further mentioned that to solve the problem of power loss, the work order of laying the 400 Kv power lines from Silchar to Yurembam has been tendered to Power Grid Cooperation of India Ltd. and will be finished by 2014.

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