Kohima: After nine years, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio commissioned the project ‘augmentation of water supply to Kohima town by pumping from Zarü River’ at Mima village under the Kohima district on Friday.

The project began in 2012 at an estimated cost of Rs 46.73 crore, with a 90:10 funding pattern with shares from the Centre and the state respectively.

Under the project, water supply is connected to the existing distribution system and is currently catering to around 3,000 consumers in areas like the PR Hill, Chandmari, PWD, and part of the main town which are covered with the department’s water supply.

More areas and wards are expected to be covered with more consumers with the augmentation of the water supply as the distribution system has been enhanced and expanded. 

Chief Engineer and Head of Department, Public Health Engineering, Repangyangba Longkumer informed that the project is a pumping scheme, reaching Kohima town by gravity system. The design capacity is 3.80 Mld (38 lakhs per day) which is possible if water is pumped for 18 hours per day. The pumping is done in two stages–520 HP each with a pumping capacity of 210 M3/hour. 

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The department had initially planned to augment the water supply to Kohima town from the Dzükou River and was approved by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in 2004. However, as preparations began, problem with the water source (land) owners arose and could not be resolved.

After almost five years of wait, the department was compelled to look for another source at Zaru River and a revised DPR was prepared and accepted. The revised project comes with an additional cost to the previous project borne by the state government.

The officer apologised to residents of Kohima for delayed implementation of the project due to various factors like the monsoon-induced damages to intake works, diversion weir, approach road WTP, damage of main pipes due to road construction, power transformer, difficulty in laying of distribution pipes due to lack of right of way, project testing, and interruption of trial runs which was started in January last year.

Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio while appreciating the department for completing the project said that the collective efforts of the departments, villages or community, and beneficiaries concerned is required to properly maintain the project.

Initially, the commissioning of the water was planned for sometime later, however, the CM urged the department to initiate the project as residents of Kohima town are affected by water scarcity.

He informed that in the urban areas, water and power supply to consumers would now be privatised. Once privatised, if consumers fail to pay the bills, the connection would be cut off. He appealed to the consumers to give their cooperation, discipline to the government and also pay for what is being used. 

He also said that the departments concerned must pay some amount of shares to the source so that the project can be maintained more efficiently.

“Happy to be part of the commissioning of water supply proj. for Kohima by pumping from Zarü river Mima village. It’s one of the projects taken up by the state govt for revamping the distrib. system & augmenting water supply to KMA on a sustained basis; benefit the villages around it,” he wrote on Twitter.

Minister of PHED, Jacob Zhimomi, said that the project is a huge relief for Kohima residents. Assuring that proper maintenance would be undertaken, he said that the project is a testament that the department has not failed its citizens.

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