Nagpur: While whole of Maharashtra is facing acute shortage of water this summer, Marathwada being worst affected, Nagpur is in much better situation.
Gone are the days when citizens used to try all their sources to get tanker water in their apartments in large number of localities. The change was possible by the organized efforts of Orange City Water (OCW) which is responsible for water supply in the city. The efforts of Vishvaraj which is one of the promoting companies of OCW were recognized at the highest level.
Vishvaraj has been named the most successful PPP operator in water and waste water sector at the Water Digest Water Awards (WDWA) 2015–16. These awards are recognized by UNESCO and supported by Times Network.Arun Lakhani, Chairman and Managing Director of Vishvaraj Infrastructure Ltd, received the award in a ceremony in New Delhi from Chaudhary Birender Singh, Minister of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India.
Also present on the occasion were the jury panel members Dr. Pawan Kumar Labhasetwar – Sr.Principal Scientist, CSIR – NEERI, Anshuman – TERI (Associate Director), R.K. Gupta – CMD – WABCOS, Dr KM Chacko – Director Sriram Institute, Satish Mallick, Consultant – Water and Waste Water, Dr. Ram Bhoojh – UNESCO, Dr. Jagdish Kumar Bassin – Retd Chief Scientist & Head, CSIR – NEERI.
Speaking on the occasion Lakhani said, “We at Vishvaraj Infrastructure are honored to receive this prestigious recognition. We dedicate this award to the people of Nagpur, Officials of Nagpur Municipal Corporation and also the politicians from the city cutting across the party lines, who cooperated with us in bringing the change in the water supply system in Nagpur. We have tried our best to communicate with the people through various mediums and we will continue to do so. We have still not achieved our goal but are on the right path of reaching there. People will appreciate that the project of this size and nature is not attempted anywhere in India so far and we are privileged to do it first time in Nagpur. We have wonderful people in the city who have supported us so far and we need your continued support for few more years and we assure you the best of the class water supply system in the country. We wish to receive all of your ideas and suggestions which will guide us to perform better.”
It is worth mentioning here that the “Nagpur 24×7 water supply project through PPP mode” was also selected as “National Best Practice of India” and was appreciated by the Prime Minister in front of 500 mayors and commissioners during inauguration of Smart City and AMRUT scheme on 25th June 2015.
OCW which is responsible for improving water supply of the city has first focused on stabilizing the bulk water supply of the city. The initial objective was to provide equitable water supply in the city and OCW has largely achieved this objective. It has been able to provide water on daily basis to almost 2.7 lac citizens who were getting water alternate day. It could improve pressure and water supply hours of more than 5.2 lac citizens. OCW’s next focus is to convert the areas into 24×7 water supply and till now more than 2 lac citizens are getting continuous water supply in Nagpur. OCW is responsible for providing water supply to 25 lac citizens and apart from managing whole network is also responsible for services like metering, billing, collection and customer service. It has introduced 24×7 call center with the toll free number, online bill payment facility to improve customer experience.
Vishvaraj could replicate the learnings of Nagpur in other parts of country as well. It is been appointed as an Operator in 5 towns of Karnataka with an objective to provide 24×7 water supply there.
Vishvaraj is also executing waste water reuse project in Nagpur which is the largest PPP project in India. The project aims at reusing the treated sewage water by the industries whereby equivalent fresh water will be released for the city.
NTPC Mouda power plant has shown willingness to purchase treated water from Bhandewadi 200 MLD STP that Vishvaraj is developing with 100% investment. The Nagpur reuse model is appreciated by many public authorities and Government of Rajasthan has shown keenness to implement similar models in the state.
Vishvaraj is supporting Rajasthan state in implementing out of box water regeneration ideas. Taking a clue from Nagpur model, National Mission for Clean Ganga has also made reuse as a part of river cleaning model which brings financial and environmental sustainability to the development process.
“Best Water and Waste Water PPP operator award” is another feather in the cap for the Nagpur based company and it is bringing Nagpur on the National and International map by showcasing its path breaking initiatives. Representatives of the many multi-national companies and city planners across India are regular visitors of Nagpur water projects and appreciate the efforts of the NMC and the