MCC Commissioner Harish Kumar K. said that the water supply was proportionate to number of connections in the area, and dismissed claims of scarcity

Even before the intense summer heat tests the water supply system in the city, the Ullal Town Municipal Council (TMC) and the Mangalore City Corporation are at loggerheads over claims of water scarcity in the town on the outskirts of Mangalore.

Basil D’Souza, President of Ullal TMC, said that though a memorandum of understanding had been signed with the MCC in January 2010 for supplying 3 million litres per day (MLD) from Thumbe to Ullal via Padil, and installing an underwater pipe through Netravathi, only 1.5 MLD was being supplied.

Mr. D’Souza said that the shortfall was reflected in the water bill collection figures of the TMC. Out of more than 10,000 households in the area, with over 1 lakh persons, the piped-water-supply bill was collected only from around 3,000 houses. Water tankers and borewells were being used to make up for the shortfall, he added.

The TMC said that out of 27 wards that came under its council, at least 12 wards were facing a water crisis, including Permannur, Moodakodi, Kerebail, Gandipatla, Shavantgudde, Kallapur, Shivajinagar, Panditkere, Bhatinagar, and some parts of Ullal town.

The problems between TMC and MCC started in August 2011, when MCC threatened to stop the supply of water unless the TMC paid Rs. 1.6 crore as dues for the water supplied for two years. “We were hardly getting any water then, but the bills continued to mount. We later found out that the water was leaking through the pipe laid under Netravathi. Though the pipes have been replaced, the water supply is insufficient,” said Mr. D’Souza.

He also complained of the irregular and inconvenient timings of the water supply. “They release the water for about two hours from 8.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. We have a storage capacity of 35 lakh litres (3.5 MLD) in our tanks. However, with only 1.5 MLD being released, the water is emptied out of the tank in the morning itself when there is peak consumption. ” said Mohammad Mokacherry, councillor.

Reaction

Their concerns were voiced at a meeting with the District Deputy Commissioner on December 24, wherein it was suggested to station an officer at Thumbe to monitor the amount of water supplied to Ullal.

MCC Commissioner Harish Kumar K. said that the water supply was proportionate to number of connections in the area, and dismissed claims of scarcity.

“Their engineers didn’t tell us the exact number of connections. Hence, we decided at the meet to send MCC and TMC engineers to conduct a survey to scientifically find out if there is any gap between supply and demand,” he said.

Furthermore, with Mangalore consuming a larger quantity of water during the day, it was decided to supply water on a rotation basis, wherein as a “sacrifice” Ullal had to be content with night-time water supply, he said.

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