To ascertain the status of drinking water supply in the completed schemes under PHED: Meghalaya, an exercise was made by all the field divisions during February 2005 & the information was put to web site of Government of Meghalaya in the name of “Completed water Supply Schemes under PHED as on 31.1.05.” The information was updated earlier up to 31.3.05 & is now updated again up to 31.12.2005.

The Sub Divisional Officers (SDOs) prepared the functioning report of all the completed schemes under their respective jurisdiction based on the information provided by the field staffs under them. The reports were expected to be verified by the respective Executive Engineers & Superintending Engineers.

Following Definitions were used for indicating the status of any scheme:-

Fully Functional schemes: - Water Supply is available through public stand posts regularly except during normal maintenance period.

Partially Functional schemes: - Water supply is not available in most of the stand posts or one/ more village/habitations under the scheme are not getting regular water supply.

Partially functional schemes were further sub categorized as below:-


PF1. One or more village/habitation without water supply in respect of combined water supply scheme

PF2. Water Supply through the public stand posts is not available.

PF3. Reduction in discharge of the source.

PF4.Partial Damages/dislocation of pipes and or any other components due to natural calamities such as by flood, land slides, wild animals etc.

PF5. Theft of laid pipes from the Scheme

PF6. temporary Breakdown due to mechanical/electrical faults/damages/failures

PF7. Village dispute/Source Dispute/Land Dispute.

PF8. Due to old age of the scheme

PF9. Any other reasons

Non Functional schemes: - Water supply is not available in the scheme.

Non functioning schemes were sub divided into following categories:-

NF1. Theft of Pump/motor/transformer from the scheme

NF2. Power Supply Disruption.

NF3. Drying up of sources.

NF4. Collapse of DTW bores.

NF5. Intra/Inter Village rivalry/dispute over sharing of water sources/land disputes.

NF6. Due to old age of the scheme

NF7. Theft of pipe or any Other reasons

Types of Schemes:-

Different types of schemes implemented by PHED for providing drinking water supply are as below:-

  • Piped Water supply Schemes

  • Spot Source Schemes

Piped Water Supply schemes

Piped Water Supply schemes are further sub divided into following three categories:-

A. Gravity Feed Schemes:-

  1. Spring/ Stream source is tapped by constructing a weir & water is conveyed by gravity to a conventional type treatment plant consisting of sedimentation tank, slow sand filter tank followed by a clear water reservoir & eventually distributed to the villagers through a network of distribution pipe lines by public stand posts/taps. In few schemes, rapid gravity type treatment plant or simplified treatment plants were provided.

  2. Whenever water source is a spring, treatment plants are not provided, since the quality of raw water is fit for human consumption.

  3. Few old schemes do not have treatment facility as the water source was covered with forest during implementation.

  4. During reconstruction of schemes at Sl (III) above, adequate treatment facility will be provided.

B. River Pumping Schemes: - The source is river/ stream & water is pumped to the treatment plant or intermediate sump. The treatment Plant & distribution network are constructed/laid as in the gravity feed schemes.

C. DTW(Deep Tube well) Pumping Schemes:- These are same as river pumping schemes except that source is under ground water, which is tapped by drilling well. Generally quality of ground water is chemically safe for all the parameters except iron in some cases. Iron Removal Plants (IRPs) are provided to tackle presence of excess iron in drinking water, wherever required.

Spot Sources Schemes

Spot Source Schemes are further sub divided into following categories:-

Hand Pumps (HPs):- Shallow/Deep bores are drilled & hand pumps are installed for providing drinking water.

Wells: - Different types of wells constructed by the Dept. for supplying water in rural areas are:-

  • Ring wells(RCC Rings are put one after another till the desired level is reached)

  • Drinking wells/Dug Wells(instead of rings, stone/brick masonry is used for lining the wells)

STC (spring Tapped Chamber):- In these schemes, chambers are constructed at the mouth of the Spring Source, to protect the spring source from pollution.

Findings of the survey:-

A. Piped Water Supply Schemes:-

  • There is a total of 2952 nos. of piped water supply schemes in the state as on 31.12.05, of which 2679 nos.(90.70%) are gravity feed schemes.

  • Of the 2952 nos. of piped water supply schemes in the state, 2282 nos. (77.30%) are fully functioning, 488 nos. (16.53%) are partially functioning & the rest 182nos. (6.17%) are not functioning.

  • The district wise numbers of fully/partially/non functioning schemes are as below



Nos. of Fully Functioning Schemes

Nos. of Partially Functioning Schemes

Nos. of Non Functioning Schemes


Garo Hills





Jaintia Hills





Khasi Hills









  • Out of 182 nos. of non functioning schemes, 81 nos. (44.50%) are not functioning due to theft of pipes/pumps/motor, another 25 nos. (13.70%) are not functioning due to old age (expiry of the design life) of the schemes, 24 nos. (13.20%) are not functioning due to drying up of sources/change in river course etc. Remaining 52 nos. (28.60%) are not functioning due to various other reasons like damage due to village rivalry, defects of pumps/motor/transformer, collapse of bores, quality problem due to coal mining, excess iron etc, flood damage, damage by wild animals etc.

  • 488 nos. of schemes are partially functioning due to various reasons like old age (expiry of the design life), damage due to natural calamities, land slides, damage by wild animals, reduction in discharge of the source, theft of pipes, mechanical/electrical breakdown, increase in population etc.

B. Spot Source Water Supply Schemes:-

  • Mostly wells (ring wells/drinking wells) have been provided as spot sources followed by Spring Tapped Chamber (STC) & Hand Pumps (HP).

  • Total 5997 nos. of spot sources have been installed so far up to 31.12.05, of which 5280 nos. (88.04%) are in working condition.

  •  Non functioning of spot sources are mainly due to drying up of sources, collapse of bores/wells, damage of structures due to old age(expiry of design life), presence of excess iron etc and cannot be repaired economically

CONCLUSION:-The various reasons for non functioning& partially functioning schemes are theft of pipes/motors, old age of the scheme (due to expiry of design period), dispute on source/land, drying up of source ,damage due to natural calamities, mechanical/electrical defects of pumps & motors collapse/drying up of bores etc. The department takes up the work for restoring water supply in non- functioning/partially functioning schemes based on extent of damage, availability of fund etc. For schemes affected by theft, restoration work is undertaken only when final police report is received. The efforts are made by the dept. to provide alternative safe source of water for schemes affected by theft as far as possible. The number of non-functioning schemes goes on changing as the dept. takes up repairing work as per the availability of fund & the re emergence of some more non-functioning schemes. This is a continuous process. It is the endeavor of the Department to ensure that schemes remain operational as far as possible in spite of various constraints including limited resource availability. The Department’s efforts to provide & maintain adequate safe water supply to all will continue.


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