The corporation would determine the water tariff, collect bills and would be the sole owner of the infrastructure. It would invite bids to hire an agency to manage the facilities.

Mangalore City Corporation has decided to drop its earlier plan to tie up with a private partner to supply water round-the-clock to its 60 wards.

Commissioner Harish Kumar K. told The Hindu that the corporation would undertake the project on its own. He said the civic body will mobilise funds from either the nationalised banks or other funding agencies.

The Commissioner said the council’s approval would be sought for the new proposal.

Earlier, the corporation had mooted 24x7 water supply proposal under the ‘public private partnership’ (PPP) model. The council had deferred decision on the proposal. Some organisations had opposed the PPP model terming it an indirect privatisation of water supply. As per the earlier proposal, the private agency would have to invest funds for creating additional infrastructure required for the supply.

Mr. Kumar said that under the revised proposal, the corporation would pump in money to build the pipeline network and create additional facilities.

A senior engineer in the corporation told The Hindu that the civic body might require about Rs. 180 crore to set up the infrastructure.

The corporation would determine the water tariff, collect bills and would be the sole owner of the infrastructure. It would invite bids to hire an agency to manage the facilities.

The Commissioner said that a new vented dam, which was under construction at Thumbe, would have to be commissioned for supplying nonstop water to the city.

Although an agenda on the PPP model was placed thrice before the meetings of the council — on July 29, 2011; August 30, 2011; and on April 26, 2012 — it was put off without any debate. The officials placed the agenda again in the meeting of the council on July 31, 2012. The Mayor had postponed last month’s meeting after the July 28 attack on students at a house in Padil rocked the meeting.

Without referring to any model, the former Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda had announced a Rs. 146-crore grant to the Mangalore City Corporation in 2012-13 budget to implement the water supply project. The Secretary of the Urban Development Department had written to the Commissioner of the corporation to get the nod of the council for implementing the proposal.

Mr. Kumar told The Hindu that the letter to him from the Secretary was in connection with the PPP model as this model was doing the rounds. So far, the budgetary allocation had not been made, he said.

The then Commissioner of the corporation K.N. Vijay Prakash in his September 16, 2011, letter to the then Mayor Praveen had said that although the civic body did not know the exact quantity of “non-revenue water” supplied in the city, about 50 per cent of treated water supplied was not being ‘utilised properly’.

The letter said that with the existing staff strength, it was not possible for the corporation to increase its water supply network and supply nonstop water to all its 60 wards. Mr. Prakash said the corporation could ask the operator who would be selected for managing the water supply to bear the complete investment required for it. He said that at present water supply in the city was not managed scientifically for lack of trained technical staff and ineffective supervision of workers at the lower rung.

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