Public water supply in Bathinda started around 1955, when a number of tube wells were dug in the inner part of city area and the water supplied through reservoirs located at the Fort and Subhash Park. Later the raw water was taken from the Bathinda branch of Sirhind canal. The Civil station and ITI water works based on slow sand filters were constructed for supplying water to Government institutions like Civil Hospital, Police Lines, District jail Bus Stand, Govt. offices like DAC and Court Complex, Rajindra College and Civil Station etc. by gravity through overhead reservoirs located in water works campus on Bhagu road.
Sources of water supply
The Water supply system of Bathinda city is dependent partially on ground water and substantially on surface water. In Bathinda, ground water is available 12 meter below the ground level, but the quality of ground water is not suitable for drinking purpose due to presence of excessive chlorides and fluorides and high degree TDS. River Sutlej is the nearest river to Bathinda, which is about 100 km north. Bathinda branch, which is a distributary of Sirhind canal system, passes by the north side of the town and it is a perennial canal, one of its distributaries known as Bathinda distributary passes by the south side of the town, thus encircling the town from north and south sides. This raw water is easily available to water works sites. The carrying capacity of Bathinda branch is about 25.2\m3\sec (890 cusecs) which is quite sufficient to spare required quantity of water for the city.
The canal is operated and maintained by irrigation Department. Normally closure period of canal is about 12 to 15 days annually. The quality of water is reasonably good. The turbidity varies from clean in winter and summer to muddy in rainy season. Irrigation Department sells raw water to bulk consumers at the rate of Rs. 8 per 170 cubic meters for domestic purpose and Rs. 12 per 170 cubic meters for commercial purpose. At present, canal water is supplied to consumers supplemented by ground water through public distribution network
System of water supply and Area coverage
Municipal Corporation supplies water to the most of Bathinda city, which covers an area of about 68 sq. kms. either directly or indirectly. The total coverage is about 85% of the total area of town. Present Coverage area is shown in the Figure 16. Bulk consumers like Railway Colony, Thermal Power Plant, NFL, Engineering College, PSIDE (Industrial Focal Point /Industrial Growth Centre) have their own water supply arrangements and they are responsible for the distribution of water within their own territories. The water supply infrastructure in these areas is owned by them and consequently, is not the responsibility of the Municipal Corporation.
Area of supply
Supply, operation and maintenance of water are one of the prime and basic services provided by Municipal Corporation of Bathinda. However, the role of Municipal Corporation is limited to funding the entire cost of the project for maintenance and making the system operational, besides collecting the revenue from the end users. The entire process of planning, construction and laying the major network and construction of tube-wells & OHRS is handled by the state level agency i.e. Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (PWSSB). The Board undertakes this work for and on behalf of the Municipal Corporation and after completing the system it is handed over to Municipal Corporation.
The P.W.S.S.B. operates and maintains the water supply system in municipal areas on behalf of Municipal Corporation. All the cost associated with supply is borne by M.C. Some residential areas in south-eastern part of city known as Urban Estates Phase- I, Phase- II and Phase- III (Model Town) developed by PUDA (now BDA) have their own water supply system. Besides these, the other areas such as Civil Station (Government residential area) and Bhagu road etc. are also covered by this water works known as Govt. Water Works located at Bhagu Road. All the expenses relating to operation and maintenance of this water works is borne by the BDA.