Though late, Amritsar Municipal Corporation (AMC) has finally come up with a project to provide potable water, a key constituent of any smart city, to its residents for at least the next thirty years and check the menace of stray dogs in the holy city by controlling their population.
Being constructed with the help of the World Bank at a cost of around Rs 2200 crore the round-the- clock water supply project would replace the subsoil water with canal water which would be stored after treatment in as many as one hundred overhead reservoirs from where it would be supplied to every household through a network of newly laid pipelines.
“Arsenic and other heavy metals toxicity is observed in the underwater supply which is also depleting at a rapid rate of 3 meters per year and there are areas in the city where we now require high powered motors to draw the water from under the ground,” said Amritsar Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu while talking to IANS on Friday.
Rintu is of the view that the existing water supply system was not adequate enough to serve the city’s around 14 lakh population and there would be a drastic water crisis in the future if immediate measures were not taken now.
In the next thirty years, Amritsar’s predicted population would be around 22 lakh, and providing potable water to every citizen would be a major challenge. He informed that AMC had purchased 40 acres of land near Upper Bari Doab Canal, at Vallaha, near Amritsar where a water treatment plant was being installed for treating the canal water before storing in the yet-to-be constructed nearly one hundred overhead reservoirs.
He also informed that AMC had decided to sterilize at least 5000 dogs to check their ever-growing population which was resulting in high cases of dog bites, dog aggressiveness, etc.
For this purpose, the fund crunched AMC has joined hands with a NGO Animal Welfare Charitable Trust (AWCT) to use its infrastructure including operation theatre etc.
Aneet Chinna, Managing Trustee of AWCT, informed that on an average sterilization of a dog costs anything between Rs 1000 to Rs 1500 and so far the NGO had sterilized 450 dogs on its own.
She said they would provide their infrastructure including hospital, sweeper and other manpower to the AMC to control the city’s stray dog population.
According to the Animal Husbandry Department the city’s stray dog population is 17,049 but unconfirmed sources put the figure at above 24,000.