Members term the decision of the Udupi CMC and MLA as inhuman

The Alevoor and Kodibettu Gram Panchayats on Friday strongly opposed the move of the Udupi City Municipal Council (CMC) to cut off drinking water supply to their gram panchayats without any notice.

Alevoor Gram Panchayat president Harish Kini told presspersons here on Friday that the Udupi CMC had suddenly stopped water supply to eight gram panchayats. The decision of the CMC and Udupi MLA Raghupati Bhat was inhuman and anti-people.

After Swarna Second Stage Drinking Water Project was commissioned two years ago, five gram panchayats of Kaup Assembly constituency such as Alevoor, Yemathu Badagabettu, Athrady-Hirebettu, Kodibettu and Bomarbettu, and three gram panchayats in Udupi Assembly constituency such as Kadekar, Ambalpady and Tenkanidiyur were receiving water.

Although the gram panchayats had been paying the bills on time, the CMC had stopped water supply. With the result, the people in these gram panchayats were suffering a lot.

At a meeting held at the Udupi CMC about 15 days ago, Mr. Bhat had assured the Presidents of the eight gram panchayats that the CMC would supply them water continuously till the end of May. The Vice-Presidents and Panchayat Development Officers (PDOs) of these gram panchayats, CMC President Kiran Kumar, and zilla panchayat chief executive officer S.A. Prabhakar Sharma were present. But now Mr. Bhat was singing a different tune and was against supplying water to the eight gram panchayats. Believing Mr. Bhat, the gram panchayats had not made any other arrangement for drinking water. It was difficult for the gram panchayats to make any other arrangement at the last moment.

Mr. Bhat had announced that water would be supplied to Udupi CMC every alternate day. Let, the gram panchayats be supplied water on alternate days. Mr. Bhat and the CMC should have studied the availability of water in the Swarna river before giving assurances to the eight Gram Panchayats.

A lot of money from the zilla panchayat and Udupi Taluk Panchayat was spent on laying pipelines from the CMC to these panchayats. It was incumbent on the zilla panchayat and taluk panchayat to put pressure on the CMC to provide water to the gram panchayats immediately. The Kaup MLA Lalaji Mendon was least bothered about these problems and had not spoken a single word on it, Mr. Kini said.

Vice-President of Kodibettu Gram Panchayat Lakshminarayana said the CMC officials had locked the gate-valve of the water pipeline without even informing the gram panchayat four days ago. “The Swarna river flows through Anjar village in our gram panchayat. Yet we are not given water from it”, he said. Kodibettu Gram Panchayat president Sundar Sherigar and zilla panchayat member Diwakar Kundar were present.

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