Cutting across party lines city legislators voiced concern over the grave situation in the capital and blamed the government for allowing things to deteriorate

Issues pertaining to acute water shortage and erratic power supply dominated the District Review Committee meeting here on Wednesday.

Cutting across party lines city legislators voiced concern at the grave situation in the State capital and blamed the government for allowing the situation to deteriorate.

Giving into the demand from the Majlis MLAs, district in charge Minister J. Geetha Reddy announced sanction of 10 power bore wells to each legislator and MP to tide over the situation in summer.

Krishna Phase III

She also announced laying of foundation stone for the Krishna phase III by the Chief Minister shortly. She assured that the project would be commissioned by June 2014. The Rs. 3,375 crore Godvari phase I was also progressing steadily.

“It has nothing to do with elections. Providing water is our responsibility,” said Labour Minister D. Nagender, when some members said the government was doing it all for the sake of elections next year.

Majlis MP Asaduddin Owaisi said completing projects before 2014 would benefit the Congress otherwise city legislators like Mukesh Goud and Mr. Nagender would face problems. “We will anyway win our seats but you will be in trouble,” Mr. Owaisi told Ms. Reddy.

Protests

Earlier, the DRC meeting saw strong protests from Majlis on the question of denial of paid water tankers to consumers who owed dues of Rs. 2,000 and more.

“What kind of rule is this,” wondered Nampally legislator Virasat Rasool Khan and asked the Water Board MD to define the word ‘defaulter’. Consumers were paying their monthly bills and were ready to clear the arrears if the One Time Settlement (OTS) scheme was revived.

Water Board chief J. Syamala Rao admitted that it was decided to deny tanker supply to defaulters. “When one can purchase a tanker for Rs. 500 why can’t one clear the dues?” he asked. Mr. Rao maintained that the Board did not make any discrimination and was equally harsh on government departments which owed money.

Members react

The Board’s concern for revenue even to the extent of denying water drew the ire of other members. However, Ms. Reddy directed the Water Board to provide tankers to defaulters also. The question of reviving the OTS would be discussed with the Chief Minister, who is the Board’s chairman, she said.

G. Kishan Reddy (BJP) expressed concern over the severe water problem in his Amberpet constituency. Even though people here paid their bills regularly they were getting supplies once in four days.

Nageshwar (MLC) wanted water supply to be stopped to liquor and cool drink industries as domestic consumption was important. He also sought plugging of leakages which were 30 to 40 per cent and protection of water bodies. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan (MIM) said thousands of gallons of water was being wasted every day in Santoshnagar due to leakages in the reservoir. He wanted a new reservoir to be built.

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