Members of the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat highlighted the problems people are facing due to erratic supply of power and water in the district.
Raising these issues at the panchayat meeting here on Thursday, they said the Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (Mescom) should avoid load-shedding without notice. A specific period of load-shedding should be announced and strictly adhered to, they said.
The members were unanimous in demanding that load-shedding be kept to the minimum till the examination season was over. They urged the Mescom officials present in the meeting to ensure that load-shedding was restricted to under four hours a day in rural areas.
Shahul Hamid, member, alleged that Mescom had no control over junior officials. This was the reason for erratic power supply. He and Babu Moger Ernodi, member, alleged that power crisis in rural areas was worsening by the day.
A Mescom official attributed the frequent power shutdown in recent times to technical snags at the power generating stations in Raichur and Bellary. The power supply had improved since Monday. As against the required 590 MW of power, Mescom was now getting 510 MW. Although the Government had announced power supply for 12 hours a day in rural areas and 20 hours in urban areas, Mescom was supplying power for about 18 hours in rural areas and 22 to 23 hours in urban areas.
He said Udupi Power Corporation Ltd. at Nandikur, near Padubidri, would start generating power in March and this would ease the power situation further.
President of the panchayat Santosh Kumar Bhandari directed the Mescom officials to take immediate steps to regulate power supply till April-end, so that students could prepare for the examinations without inconvenience.
Malar and K.P. Sucharita Shetty, members, pointed out that Kinnigoli and surrounding areas, and Ullal and Thokottu areas were facing serious water shortage. Mr. Shetty claimed that a water supply scheme was being implemented in 16 villages around Kinnigoli without the knowledge of panchayat members.
Chief Executive Officer P. Shivashankar said that a Rs. 17-crore project was being implemented in Kinnigoli and surrounding villages. A survey conducted between 2001and 2005 had revealed that the water in these areas had high nitrate content and the scheme was only aimed at improving the quality of water there. The scheme had been forwarded to the Government only after the panchayat members’ approval.
On the other hand, an estimated Rs. 22-crore plan to mitigate the water problems of Ullal and Thokottu areas had been taken up. A private organisation, which had been asked to prepare a detailed project report, had sought a fee of over Rs. 11 lakh. This was still in the negotiation stage. It would soon be placed before the panchayat for approval, he said.