The State Government has approved the new master plan for Mangalore region prepared by the Mangalore Urban Development Authority (MUDA), according to Mayor M. Shankar Bhat.
Stating this at a meeting of the Mangalore City Corporation council on Tuesday, he said that the civic body was yet to get details of the plan as the Government had not issued a notification to this effect.
However, at one point during the debate on the Government’s proposal to declare Kadri Park area a green belt, the Mayor said that the master plan had not declared the area as such.
Councillors Roopa D. Bangera and Naveen R. D’Souza opposed the district administration’s move to close a tarred road connecting Paduva on National Highway 17 and the Circuit House through Kadri Park as a first step towards declaring the area a green belt. If the road were to be closed, access for many people living behind Jogi Math would be cut off, they said.
Mr. Bhat said that the administration was planning to declare the 40-acre area surrounding Kadri Park as “protected” to prevent construction of commercial buildings. It was to protect the greenery and perennial water sources there. “There is no plan to close the road,” he said.
The Opposition Congress councillors protested when the Mayor reiterated that the corporation would supply water to the coal-storage yard of Udupi Thermal Power Corporation Ltd. coming up on the premises of New Mangalore Port. The Mayor said that there was no need for the people of Mangalore to be apprehensive about the availability of water as there would still be enough water for drinking. The civic body was duty-bound to supply water to industries as well as people, he said.
The civic body would earn Rs. 3 lakh to Rs. 4 lakh revenue a month by supplying water to the power plant, he said.
Immediately after Question Hour, the Congress councillors protested against the move in the well of the House, without participating in the debate on subjects listed on the agenda.
The council resolved to install closed-circuit television cameras in the corporation’s head office at Lalbagh to monitor employees and to strengthen security.
The Mayor said that the property tax revised by the council under the self-assessment scheme (SAS) was pending approval from the State Cabinet. The Cabinet was likely to approve it by the end of next month. The civic body would implement the revised rates after Cabinet’s approval, he said.
Mr. Bhat said that Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC) was yet to complete the work of connecting the new main water pipelines, laid under loan assistance from the Asian Development Bank, with the existing network of pipelines in the city. This work was under way. Of the 60 wards, a few would start getting 24-hour water supply and a few others for 12 hours a day within the next fortnight, he said.
The Mayor said that after some of the illegal water connections from the main water supply line between Thumbe and Padil were cut, the city was getting five MGD (million gallons a day) more water. According to engineers, the city was getting approximately 24 MGD of water now, he said.