This report presents the findings of a study done by Pravah on the concurrent monitoring of the world's largest drinking water pipeline project, the Narmada project, which is supposed to cover 9633 villages an 131 towns of Saurashtra, Kutch and parts of North Gujarat.
It provides a comprehensive review of the Narmada project with the aim to move forward towards the goal of ensuring safe, adequate and sustainable water supply to the whole state. This report is a part of the initiative to ensure periodic monitoring of the performance of the project, while under implementation.
The report argues that there is good scope for improving the performance of the Narmada project as well as for improving the drinking water related approach of the Gujarat government. The inferences drawn from the study are not only for improving the working of the Nramada project, but they are also for reorienting the state policy for drinking water.
The report makes some suggestions in the context of the Narmada project:
- There is a need to implement the guidelines and rules already set up for the project.
- The study indicates that there is a gap between rules and their implementation at the field level. The project has neglected important areas such as installation od water metres for ensuring adequacy of water supply, quality testing and monitoring for ensuring potability of water supply, disposal of used water, financial viability, distribution of water within the villages, Pani samiti etc. these areas need focused attention of policy makers.
- The study has thrown up some basic questions regarding the working of the project like for example, use of star configuration rater than three configuration of pipelines, organising O and M in a scientific and systematic basis, organising regular supply or constructing adequate storage capacities can improve efficiency of NPP.
The report argues that the final issue is however, to see beyond the pipeline project to solve the problem of drinking water in the state and argues for the need to develop a coordinated approach using both the source where the local source is the main source and distance source is the supplementary one. The report identifies the need to reorient the existing water policy for a sustainable, affordable and feasible approach to drinking water.
The complete report can be downloaded from below: