Inaccessibility to drinking water is a cause for serious concern among people of Kayalpatnam, a Second Grade Municipality, which houses an eighty percent of Muslim populace. People are getting drinking water only once in five days or seven days. Though a second water pipeline, at an estimated cost of Rs. 30 crore under major contribution by central government and partial funding by state government and Kayalpatnam Municipality, was approved, there is no sign of development. The project is supposed to be implemented under Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme.

The detailed project report was also prepared by officials in 2010, but all in vain. Even during 2002, the representatives of the local body mooted the idea of laying an additional water pipeline to root out the drinking water crisis, according to M.S. Mohamed Salih, a resident of Kayalpatnam. Besides, the inhabitants are also stricken with problems of poor hygiene. People are being exposed to unhealthy conditions due to dumping of garbage in an open site on the road towards Arumuganeri.

With inadequate sanitary workers at the municipality, proper disposal of garbage is lacking. On an average a day, about eight metric tonnes of garbage is being dumped. The Government Hospital at Kayalpatnam is also understaffed. Patients are unable to avail proper medication and other required treatments owing to the dearth of health care professionals. Residents had unanimously decided to root out corruption at municipal offices. During January 2011, the Vice Chairman of the Municipality was trapped for his involvement in tampering with a cheque for Rs. 14 lakh.

The fisherfolk of Singhidurai and Kombuthurai may boycott the polls since construction of houses under the Tsunami rehabilitation scheme was halted. The election for Kayalpatnam Municipality with 18 wards is slated for October 17. Six candidates are in fray for the post of Chairman and 86 candidates are contesting for councillor posts. No contestant with political representation has been fielded in local body polls of Kayalpatnam Municipality.

Ever since its inception, no candidate with political background contested in the election. Over 45, 000 people are living in Kayalpatnam, which has a total electorate of 28, 313. During 1982, Kayalpatnam got a status of Selection Grade Town Panchayat and in 2004, it was accorded with Third Grade Municipality status. Finally, it was further promoted to a Second Grade Municipality in August 2010.

Keywords: water scarcity

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