’24×7 water supply possible if leakages are plugged’
Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari today said the minimum and most essential expectation of the people from the Smart City initiative is round the clock availability of drinking water. “It is high time that 24×7 drinking water supply is made available in different parts of the country. Nagpur has successfully implemented such project by carrying out water audit and plugging leakages in the system,” said Gadkari. He was speaking at the valedictory function of the two-day ‘Smart and Sustainable City Summit’ organised jointly by Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Elets Techno Media Private Limited here.
“We need auditing of drinking water supply. In many areas there are tanks but there is no accountability in supply. “The 24×7 water supply project in Nagpur focussed on auditing tanks and pipelines for leakages and other problems due to which water was lost,” said Gadkari. “To address the issue of leakages we constructed cement concrete tanks, laid new pipelines and computerised system to monitor water level,” said the union surface transport minister. Gadkari stressed on equitable distribution of water and asked municipal corporations to look at implementing 24×7 projects with better water distribution.
On improving transport infrastructure in Smart Cities, Gadkari said, “Within a month 700 auto-rickshaws in New Delhi will be converted into bio-CNG, which will improve their earnings by Rs 200 a day.” Similarly, in three months time we will start electric auto-rickshaws, buses and taxis in the country. Nagpur will be the first city in the country where 20 electric taxis will run on experimental basis from May 1, said Gadkari. He said that we are planning an institute for research on ethanol, bio-diesel and bio-CNG. “We have also decided to make policy for getting ethanol from rural, agriculture and forest sector, which will create employment opportunities for tribals,” he said. Gadkari said money and funds are not a problem for any project but planning, innovation, entrepreneurship are.