K.N. Vijay Prakash had written to Mayor Praveen backing the move

A strong case has been made by a bureaucrat for the implementation of round-the-clock water supply for the city even as elected representatives were not in favour of it.

The council of Mangalore City Corporation is yet to take a decision on the issue. The council postponed twice an agenda on the subject placed in its meetings.

But K.N. Vijay Prakash, who recently demitted office as the Commissioner of MCC, has written to Mayor Praveen a few days before his departure from the civic body and stated that the proposal was “in the interest of the corporation”.

Mr. Vijay Prakash in his letter of September 16, a copy of which is available with The Hindu, 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”.

Mr. Vijay Prakash has handed over the charge to the new Commissioner on September 22.

Leakage

He said that leakage in old water supply pipeline networks in the city had increased after new water supply pipes were laid under the Karnataka Urban Development and Coastal Environment Management Project (KUDCEMP) and connected to old networks. The letter said that at present water supply in the city was not managed scientifically for lack of trained technical staff and ineffective supervision of low-level staff.

The former Commissioner said that the present staff strength in the corporation was not enough for taking up “preventive maintenance” of water supply infrastructure facilities created under the KUDCEMP at a cost of Rs. 105 crore.

There was a need to have a proper operation and maintenance system to preserve the infrastructure facilities. Otherwise, there was a possibility of expensive electrical and machines getting damaged resulting in problems in water supply and revenue loss to the corporation.

The letter said that with the existing staff strength, it was not possible for the corporation to increase its water supply network and supply water round the clock to all 60 wards. Mr. Vijay Prakash said the corporation could ask the operator who would be selected for managing round-the-clock water supply to bear the complete investment required for it.

The letter has mentioned about the quantity of water now being supplied to the city, water required for each person, feasibility study for 24 X 7 done by an agency appointed by Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC), a study tour by a team led by Mayor to Hubli-Dharwad and meetings conducted to deliberate upon the proposal.

Meanwhile, to a question at a press conference here on Tuesday spokesperson of the district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) K. Monappa Bhandary said the corporation would not go for 24 X 7 water supply under PPP model.

Instead, it would supply water round the clock on its own. The Mayor was present at the press conference.

Tariff concern

Chairperson of the Standing Committee for Town Planning and Improvement Premananda Shetty said that if the civic body adopted PPP model the minimum water tariff would go up to Rs. 178 up to 8,000 kilo litres. Now the corporation charged Rs. 65 up to 25,000 kilo litres.

But they were not clear why the council was not taking any decision on the proposal.