Public Health Engineering Dept. is responsible for providing adequate safe water supply in rural & urban areas of the state.

The Department at the Directorate Level is headed by the Chief Engineer, PHE, and assisted by four Addl. Chief Engineers (PHE), i.e. Addl. Chief Engineer (PHE), Zone-I, Shillong, Zone-II, Tura, Zone-III, Shillong and Sanitation Cell, Shillong. The Zone-I comprises of Greater Shillong Circle& Electrical circle, Shillong and the prestigious Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme along with other schemes falling under the Circles, are being looked after by Addl. Chief Engineer (PHE) Zone-I , whereas Zone-II comprising of three Districts of Garo Hills, is looked after by the Addl. Chief Engineer (PHE), Zone-II, Tura. The Urban and Rural Schemes pertaining to Tura Circle, covering entire Garo Hills areas are looked after by the Addl. Chief Engineer (PHE), Zone-II. Areas under Rural Circle, Shillong covering Ri-Bhoi District, West Khasi Hills District and Jaintia Hills District and rest of East Khasi Hills area is looked after by the Additional Chief Engineer, PHE, Zone-III, Shillong. The Addl. Chief Engineer (PHE), Sanitation Cell is looking after matters relating to implementation of Sanitation Program apart from other works.

At the field level there are five Circles each headed by the Superintending Engineer viz. (i). Rural Circle, Shillong (ii). Tura Circle, Tura (iii). Greater Shillong Circle, Shillong and (iv). Electrical Circle, Shillong and newly created Williamnagar Circle. There are 17 Divisions in all throughout the state, having at least one Division in each District.


PHED takes up Rural Water Supply Projects for providing drinking water supply facilities in Rural Areas of the state. Providing safe drinking water supply is included under 20 point program & the targets are fixed for coverage of habitations. Projects are taken up for Not covered (NC), Partially Covered (PC) & Iron affected habitations as per 1994 survey as well as for Renovation /Reconstruction of schemes which have been implemented more than 15 years back, for improvement of existing facilities as well as sustainability of drinking water sources.

Rural Water Supply Programme is taken up under two programmes namely:-

  • Central Sector Accelerated rural water Supply Program (ARWSP)

  • State Sector Rural Water Supply Programme/ Prime Minister’s Gramadoya Yojana (PMGY)/ Bharat Nirman Programme. Earlier it was named as Minimum Needs Programme.

1. Accelerated Rural Water Supply Program (ARWSP)

Under this program, Schemes are taken up for coverage of Not Covered (NC), Partially Covered (PC) habitations with the yearly release of fund. This is funded 100% by Govt. of India. Water supply to Rural Schools & ICDS centres can also be taken up under the Program with 50:50 sharing by Central & State Govt.15% of the allocation under ARWSP is allowed to be utilized for providing safe water supply to habitations having quality problem (excess iron in drinking water) under Submission Program.5% of the allocation is allowed to be utilized for projects for sustainability of sources.

For providing safe drinking water in quality affected habitations (for tackling excess iron in drinking water in the State), projects are taken up under Submission Programme funded on 75:25 basis by Central & State Govt. Prior to 1.4.98, projects were approved by Govt. of India & for these central share are released directly by them. Since 1.4.98 power has been delegated to the state for sanction of these submission projects. The central share for these post 1.4.98 schemes are met from normal release under Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP).Up to 15% of the ARWSP fund can be utilized for submission projects, as indicated in the foregoing.

Power has been delegated to the State for sanctioning schemes under ARWSP. These schemes are sanctioned by State Water Supply & Sanitation Mission (SWSM) headed by the Chief Secretary from 2003-04 onwards. Earlier schemes were used to be sanctioned by State Level Advisory Board (SLAB) headed by the Chief Secretary, after clearance of the proposals by Scientific Source Finding Committee (SFC) at the State Level headed by the Commissioner & Secretary (PHE) with the Officer in charge of Central Ground water Board (CGWB) as Member Secretary.

Allocation for ARWSP varies from year to year. For the year 2005-06, the allocation is Rs.3583.00 Lakhs. Govt. of India has so far released Rs. 3190.10 Lakhs. In addition, there was an unspent balance amounting to Rs.784.11 Lakhs as on 1.4.05. Thus actual availability is Rs.3974.21 Lakhs.

2. State Sector Rural Water Supply Programme/ Prime Minister’s Gramadoya Yojana (PMGY)/Bharat Nirman Programme.

The projects for NC, PC, Iron affected habitations are also required to be taken up under State Sector Rural Water Supply Program (PMGY) also, as providing safe drinking water supply is included under 20 point program & the targets are fixed for coverage of habitations. More over, since projects can be taken up under ARWSP only for restricted parameter as above & the availability of fund under ARWSP is also limited, the projects for Renovation/Improvement of existing schemes are required to be taken up under State Sector only. Moreover, to avail the benefit under ARWSP, matching State share is required to be provided by the State Govt.

During past years, several water supply schemes were required to be taken up in different villages to mitigate the inadequacy of safe drinking water due to disproportionate increase in population .Besides in view of the large scale deforestation all around before the ban imposed by the honourable Supreme Court through landmark judgement, man made damage has been caused to the nature resulting in reduction of discharge of many water sources & even total drying up of some of the water sources. The cascade effect of destruction of forest covering necessitated taking up number of reconstruction/renovation schemes. There are also many water supply schemes implemented earlier, which has become non functional/partially functional due to theft, damage by wild elephants, inter village rivalry. Habitations have turned from Fully Covered (FC) to Partially Covered (PC) or even Not Covered (NC) category. New habitations have also come up. Schemes are taken up for this. The burden on the State Plan for projects under Rural Drinking water Supply Program is therefore quite high. The Availability of fund under State plan varies from year to year. The availability during 2004-05 was Rs.31.00 Crore. For 2005-06, the allocation is Rs.31.20 Crore.


The Types of Water Supply Schemes Implemented by the dept. are:

i). Ring Well

ii). Spring Tapped Chamber

iii). Deep Tube Well (DTW) with India marked-II Hand Pump

iv). D.T.W. with Power Pump

v). Gravity Feed Water Supply Scheme

vi). Pumping Schemes with Diesel or Electricity from river or stream source.

The schemes are implemented giving preference in the above-mentioned order to make it economically viable.

The sanctioned projects are priority projects and hence executions of all the sanctioned projects were taken up immediately after sanction. However, with the limited State Plan Resources, it is not possible to provide sufficient fund for completion of all the schemes.


During the year 2003-04, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India launched a program (1) for installation of One Lakh hand pumps in water scarce Rural areas (2) Providing water supply in One Lakh primary schools in rural areas (3) Revival of one Lakh traditional sources of drinking water supply throughout the country. 90% cost is borne by Govt. of India & balance 10% by beneficiary. However, in case of SC/ST dominated habitations/schools, the beneficiary contribution is 5%. Schemes were taken up for providing Hand Pumps in water scarcity area, providing drinking water supply to schools & for revival of traditional sources of drinking water. Few Schemes taken up during 2003-04& 2004-05 remained incomplete as on 1.4.05, for which works are in progress. No new schemes under the programme will be taken up, as per the policy of Govt. of India.


All the urban centres of the State have been provided with water supply. However, to augment the supply, schemes are taken up under the programme. Urban Water Supply Schemes are funded under three programmes:-

1. State Plan: - Major Schemes under implementation in Urban sector are:-

· Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme (GSWSS):- The Schemes was taken up for implementation in two stages. The Phase-I of the Scheme was completed in mid eighties .For Phase-II, all the major works except testing of some of the distribution lines in Malki & Motinagar Area, commissioning of 3.8 MGD treatment Plants & some other minor works are completed. The scheme is likely to be completed by 31.3.06 in all respect. The Supply position will increase in the capital city with the completion of the Scheme & replacement of pumping machineries of Ist Stage & 2nd stage Pumping Stations. The project was taken up for execution with Limited State Plan resources, except for one time LIC loan of Rs.250.00 Lakhs received during 1982-83, due to which the desired progress could not be made in the past years. However in the year 1998-99, the scheme was included for financing under Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) & an amount of Rs.3579.00 Lakhs was received under Central Pool for execution of the Scheme(mainly Dam) & also utilized . The remaining fund for implementation of the project was provided from State plan resources.

· Modification of pumping machineries & replacement of treatment units of GSWSS”:- The estimate for the purpose was administratively approved for an amount of Rs. 1866.42 Lakhs during 2004-05. The Scheme was formulated to take care of the following:-

  • Replacement of pumps of second stage pumping system

  • Install VVVF (Variable Voltage variable frequency) drives which could maintain stable output voltage & frequency thereby enabling controlling generated flow of water during the process of pumping. High variation in frequency is harmful to the machineries & equipments. This adversely affected the efficiency of the pumping system. Due to variation in frequency, the system was unable to deliver the water to the Treatment Plant & accordingly three stage pumping was introduced in GSWSS. With the installation of the system, the third stage pumping system will be completely do away with , reducing the energy cost and operation & maintenance cost for the scheme. However, this effect will only be felt in the long run.

  • The proposal also has provision for modernization of power system, which comprises construction of a 33/6.6 KV sub station, replacement of 2 nos. 33/6.6 KV, 2.5 MVa transformers (which has been subjected to heavy weathering), replacement of current carrying of cables to cater power to the increased capacity of motors.

  • The estimate has also provision for replacement of existing manually operated valves with sophisticated pneumatic valve with pneumatic cylinder & 3 points electrical signal, replacement of air compressor & different drives installed at 7.5 MGD treatment Plant.

  • There is a provision for complete automation with visualization system for operation of different units of the plants in the. This would not only help achieving correct operation of machineries but also ensure providing timely information on the need for timely maintenance of these machineries.

The Department is in the process of finalization of allotment of work for replacement of pumping machineries of second stage pumping system.

Replacement of Pumping Machineries of Ist Stage Pumping Stations of GSWSS”:- These first stage pumps & motors (total 6 nos.) were procured originally in the year 1981 & put into operation in the year 1986 after completion of infrastructure of the Phase-I of the scheme. The designed life of pumping machineries is 15 years. The pumps procured for GSWSS has been in operation for about 20 years & has outlived the designed life. Due to continuous running for 24 hours a day since 1986, 2 nos. of these first stage pumps & motors have become unserviceable as a result of wear and tear. Further, efficiency of the remaining four nos. of pumps & motors has come down considerably and there is frequent breakdown of these first stage pumps & motors. Accordingly the proposal was taken up. The work has been entrusted to M/S Voltas.

The availability under Urban Sector (State Plan) varies from year to year. For the year2005-06 actual availability is Rs. 60.00 Lakhs. There is also LIC loan component of Rs. 200.00 Lakhs during the current year, which is not likely to be made available. In addition, there is a provision of Rs.530.00 Lakhs for the modification of pumping machineries of GSWSS. The State Share for Centrally Sponsored Schemes is also provided from Urban sector allocation.


2. Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources(NLCPR):- Two Schemes are presently being funded by DONER under NLCPR namely:-

· Tura Phase-III WSS: - Tura Phase-I WSS was taken up during 1968 as a gravity feed scheme to cover the ultimate population of 50,000. The scheme was completed in 1972 at a total cost of Rs.79.35 Lakhs. The discharge of the “Rongkhon” river, source of Tura Phase-I WSS started reducing considerably reaching an all time low during March 1978, resulting in acute water crisis in Tura town. This compelled the dept. to go in for Tura Phase-II WSS by pumping water from “Ganol” river to the existing Treatment Plant of Tura Phase-I WSS. The scheme was taken up in 1980 at a total cost of Rs.2.28 crores. With the increase in population, many new localities also came up in Tura, which were without water supply. Hence, the Phase-II estimate was revised to accommodate all hitherto uncovered areas of Tura and the revised estimate was sanctioned in 1984 at a total cost of Rs.4.82 crore. The scheme was designed for an ultimate population of 87827 with 1997 as the ultimate year. The population of Tura town is fast increasing and 37 new localities have come up in and around new Tura area, which are without any water supply. The present population of Tura town as per the certificate of the DC, Tura is 90,501.Tura Phase-III WSS is proposed as a separate gravity scheme to cover newly developed localities. Out of the total population of 90,501people, 32225 people of the newly grown area will be covered by the proposed scheme. The balance population of 58276 people will be continued to be fed from the existing Tura Phase-II WSS. Tura Phase-III water supply scheme was sanctioned by Govt. of India, Ministry of Urban Development on 7.10.2002 for an amount of Rs.2160.24 Lakhs. This project is funded under NLCPR. The work has started from 2003-04 & is in good progress.

Jowai WSS: - The original Phase-I Water Supply Scheme for Jowai town was started in 1974 & was commissioned in 1980 at a cost of Rs.95.00 Lakhs. The scheme envisaged pumping of water from Myntdu River, which was flowing by the side of the town. The ultimate designed population of the scheme was 39,000 to attain by 2004. The existing treatment plant has a capacity of 1.50 MGD.River Myntdu has become highly polluted during the past years as numbers of stone quarries have come up on the upstream side of the river. Further, since Myntdu River surrounds the Jowai town, all the sewage & sullage effluents of the town are discharged in the river. There is a persistent demand for making alternative arrangement for supplying water to Jowai town. Apart from this, there are substantial water losses from the laid distribution system as structures /roads have come up on most length of the pipes, especially in congested areas due to rapid growth of town. Moreover, most length of pipes has outlived their lives.Further the design period of the existing scheme has reached by 2004 & hence there is the necessity to take up new scheme to meet the water demand of the entire population.To overcome the above mentioned problem an alternative river pumping scheme from ”Umngot” river was sanctioned by Govt. of India, Ministry of Urban Development on 25.10.2002 for an amount of Rs.1541.13 Lakhs. The project is being funded under NLCPR. The preliminary works for the project has started.Recently DONER has included Mairang WSS for funding under NLCPR at an estimated cost of Rs. 806.56 Lakhs. Ist installment of Rs. 231.53 Lakhs has also been released. However the works will be started only after Administrative Approval is accorded by State Govt., which is expected by March 2006.

3. Centrally sponsored Accelerated Urban Water Supply Program (AUWSP):- The projects are taken up under the programme for towns having population less than 20,000 as per 1991 Census. The sharing pattern of the project under the programme is 50:50 basis by Central & State Govt. Projects for two towns (William Nagar & Baghmara) have so far been taken up under the program. Of this, the project for William nagar town has been commissioned during 2004-05.The scheme for Willimnagar town envisages tapping the river “Chibok” by gravity, which is flowing 12KM away from the existing Treatment Plant site with provision to treat raw water at the existing Treatment Plant. The treated water then pumped to different Zonal reservoirs for eventual distribution by gravity.Earlier, water was used to be pumped from Simsang river with the help of submersible pumps. There were frequent disruptions of water supply in the rainy season due to increase in discharge & sediments. With the commissioning of the gravity feed scheme, this problem minimized to a great extent.The scheme for Baghmara town was designed as a River Pumping Scheme from Simsang river with provision for a Jack Well, installation of V. T. Pump, laying of 200mm dia M.S. Pumping main, construction of simplified water Treatment Plant, construction of Zonal reservoirs along with distribution networks to different zones and other ancillary work. The work is progressing and expected completion of the scheme by December 2006.

Improvement of Municipal Sources:-

The scheme was framed for improving the quality of water of municipal & non municipal sources supplying water in parts of Shillong & integrating these sources with GSWSS, so that mixing of treated water with untreated water is avoided &uniform quality of water is maintained in water supplied to all the people of Shillong. The Project cost is Rs.477.34 Lakhs including both municipal & non municipal sources. The Govt. of India has sanctioned Phase –I of the project covering only the municipal sources at a cost of Rs.384.19 Lakhs under Central Pool of resources with 90:10 funding pattern by Central & Stare Govt.


Site Designed and Hosted by:
National Informatics Centre, Meghalaya State Centre,
Content maintained and updated by : Government of Meghalaya,
Queries / comments regarding the content on this site may be sent to cephed-meg@nic.in