JAMMU: A panel formed to look into the use of disapproved High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE) pipes in up-gradation of water supply system in Jammu city has said that the concern of Public Health Engineering (PHE) department regarding the issue cannot be overlooked.
Pertinently, the Jammu and Kashmir Economical Reconstruction Agency (ERA) had floated a tender wherein it had recommended use of HDPE pipes, which stand disapproved by the state government since ‘90s, for replacement of worn-out pipelines and laying of new ones.
The PHE department had urged the Jammu and Kashmir Economic Reconstruction Agency not to use the HDPE pipes in the 100 -crore project under the Jammu Kashmir Urban Sector Investment Programme (JKUSIP) funded by the Asian Development Bank for improving water supply in Jammu and instead use Ductile Iron pipes.
In a meeting held last month, panel members said that while “attitudinal change is important for shifting from conventional to non conventional methods of technology, the concerns of the (PHE)Department cannot be overlooked as, being custodians of water supply system, it is their priority to safeguard the interests of general public .”
Chief Engineer PHE Dept and one of the members of the committee, K K Gupta, said that he has already raised with the ERA the technical and other drawbacks of using HDPE pipes besides non-availability of technology and personnel to deal with any future flaws.
“Finally it’s the PHE department which will have to handle these projects . That is why we had clearly recommended the use of DI pipes which over the years have proved very effective in managing the water supply,” he said.
Soon after the tender was floated, Superintending Engineer PHE Mechanical of Urban Circle Jammu had also written a letter to ERA, stating “PHE department has never approved use of HDPE pipes keeping in view the terrain, soil conditions, chemical affect, and low strength and lesser resistance of the pipes.”
“Department has witnessed a failure earlier with these files,” he had said.
As reported by Kashmir Reader earlier, the use of HDPE pipes has been recommended by ERA’s team leader S N Verma, who interestingly had not been in favour of their use in Uttarakhand where he had been serving as Managing Director of the agency.