‘Started getting water only after polls were announced’

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) says providing drinking water round-the-clock to all the 35 wards in Udupi City Municipal Council (CMC) tops its list of achievements. That is also reflected in the party’s manifesto released a few days ago.

But there are some pockets in the city where the water supply is too little and for less than a couple of hours. The people living at the municipal colony in Bhagya Mandira, about one kilometre from the CMC Office, are angry on this issue.

V.B. Ammanna, who worked in a wielding workshop, said that they used to get water once in two to three days. The water connection had not been laid scientifically. “It is only after the civic elections were announced that we are getting water daily that too for about an-hour-and-a-half,” he said.

Ramesh Kundar, an LIC employee, said that he collected water from a nearby well. “Since all persons in the area collect water from the well, the water level has gone down and we have to struggle to pull the pail of water. The claim of 24-hour water supply is rubbish,” he said.

Homemaker Zeenat said that she had complained several times to the CMC on this issue. But CMC officials kept saying that their houses were on an elevation. “They told us to keep drums in houses and fill water in them. But when the water pressure is not enough, what is the use of drums. We get water only once in two or three days. After the elections were announced, they are supplying water daily. This problem has been there for the last 25 years, but no action has been taken on it,” she said.

Homemaker Sabita Ammanna said that there were times when the people of the area had to depend on water tankers during the summer. Sarojini Shetty and Padmavati, both homemakers, did the same.

The situation is no different at Nayampalli 5th Cross near Santhekatte-Kallianpur. K. Venkataramana, an employee of the Excise Department, said that he got municipal water two days in a week for about one-and-a-half hour. “Since I have a well, I am not affected. I gave several complaints to the CMC. Later, I got fed up and gave up,” he said.

People in both Bhagya Mandira and Nayampalli demanded underground drainage connections in their areas.

BJP reaction

But Kiran Kumar, BJP leader and former president of the CMC, denied all the charges. “All the areas of Udupi get a minimum of 12 hours of water supply. Whenever there were complaints, we attended to it immediately,” he said.

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