Member of Parliament Suggests Measures to the Lt. Governor to Mitigate the Scarcity

Port Blair, Jan 23: The Member of Parliament, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Mr. Kuldeep Rai Sharma has highlighted the issue of acute scarcity of potable water in Chouldary area before the Hon’ble Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and suggested measures to solve this problem.

In a letter addressed to the Hon’ble Lt. Governor dated 21.01.2022, the Member of Parliament mentioned that the residents of Choudhary Gram Panchayat and its surrounding villages are experiencing severe scarcity of potable water, which need to be resolved on priority before the ensuing summer season.

He added that in order to cater to the need of potable water of the Defence establishment located in Port Blair and of the Andaman & Nicobar Administration, a Dam at Chouldary was constructed. As per the Agreement dated 27th day of November 2005 executed between the Defence establishment represented through Director General (Works) Engineer-in-Chief‘s branch Army Head Quarters, Ministry of Defense, Govt. of India, New Delhi and the Andaman & Nicobar Administration represented through the Chief Engineer, Andaman Public Works Department, out of the total quantity of  approx. 9.2 lakhs  gallons per day of raw water released from the Dam, 70% will be utilized by the Defense and remaining 30% to be reserved for utilization for the A&N Administration.

The Member of Parliament added that a provision also exists in said agreement that should there be excess or shortage of raw water available than expected, that will also be shared in the same proportion between the Defence and the A & N Administration.

He mentioned that predominantly the A&N Administration's 30% share of raw water from the Chouldary Dam was intended to meet the potable water requirement of Chouldary Gram Panchayat and the nearby villages. Hence these areas are not served by any other sources of raw water except the Chouldary Dam.

The MP mentioned that according to the latest data available, the Public Health Engineering Division, Prothrapur of Andaman Public Works Department have to cater piped and treated water to 1451 individual water tap connections, 09 Schools, 07 Anganwadis, 25 Offices and Community Halls, 01 Primary Health Center and 03 Health Sub-Centers besides shops and commercial establishments of Chouldary Gram Panchayat and the nearby villages.

He also mentioned that the total requirement of water to be supplied through the water tap connections to the families and other institutions as stated above are 1.59 LGPD (7,25,000 liters per day) but according to the reports 1.25 LGPD (about 5.68 lakh liters) of raw water are being released from the Chouldary Dam to the filter bed  of Andaman Public Works Department at Chouldary, which is much less than the per day supply of 30% of the raw water available in the dam as per the agreement. This being the reason the residents and various establishments in the Chouldary Gram Panchayat and the nearby villages are facing acute shortage of piped and treated water.

The Member of Parliament requested the Lt. Governor to direct the Andaman and Nicobar Command to release the entire share of 30% of raw water released from the Chouldary dam as per the agreement dated 27.11.2005 to the Andaman & Nicobar Administration for its treatment and subsequent supply by the Andaman Public Works Department to the consumers of Chouldary Gram Panchayat and nearby villages consisting of  Chouldary Portmout, Badmash Pahad (Gopal Nagar), Bloomsdale (Nimbu bageecha), Nayabasthi, Chouldary, Craikabad, Bachada Pahad, Lal Pahad and part of Dhanikhadi.

Alternatively, the Member of Parliament suggested the Hon’ble Lt. Governor that since the pumping of raw water from the Rutland Water Project to the Dhanikhadi Dam has commenced, possibilities may be explored to resolve the scarcity of potable water at Chouldary Gram Panchayat and nearby villages by providing raw water from the Dhanikhadi Dam.

The Member of Parliament suggested that a scheme to connect the existing filter bed of Mangluatan and Chouldary has already been prepared and submitted by the Public Health Engineering Division (PHED), Prothrapur of Andaman Public Works Department and if the additional quantity of raw water required for Chouldary Gram Panchayat and nearby villages is provided from the Dhanikhadi Dam to the existing Filter bed at Mangluatan the shortage could be managed to a great extent at Chouldary area.

Hence the Member of Parliament requested to sanction a proposal to connect the filter beds of Mangluatan and Chouldary as also direct the authority concerned to release sufficient additional quantity of raw water for Chouldary Gram Panchayat and nearby villages from the Dhanikhadi Dam through the existing pipeline to the filter bed at Mangluatan so that the scarcity of piped and treated (potable) water is resolved to great extent in the Chouldary Gram Panchayat and nearby villages.