Dakshina Kannada villages may be setting an example for the rest of country. World Bank has started documenting the far-reaching changes in rural areas, and indications are that it may soon be known as “Dakshina Kannada model”.

The meter-based drinking water supply management system, which has in effect reduced the quantity of water consumed besides taking water to the households, has been adopted by 127 of the 203 gram panchayats in the district.

Study tour

A two-member team of the World Bank ended its three-day tour to study the system on Wednesday.

Christophe Prevost, Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist, World Bank, Delhi, and Mariappa Kullappa, State Coordinator of the bank, studied five meter-based drinking water supply schemes and interacted with those managing them. Of the five schemes, the one at No. 10 Thokur village in Padu Panambur Gram Panchayat limits and the other at Guttakadu in Kinnigoli Gram Panchayat limits are being managed by people by forming water users' committee.

The team studied the schemes managed by Haleyangady, Golthamajalu and Bajpe gram panchayats.

The team members visited Bajpe Gram Panchayat on Wednesday and interacted with its young president Saul Hameed and panchayat secretary Aboobakkar. The team also interacted with P. Shivashankar, Chief Executive Officer of the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat, before winding up its study.

In an informal chat with The Hindu while visiting Bajpe, Mr. Prevost said the visit was aimed at documenting how the panchayats were managing water supply in rural area.

In public domain

Mr. Kullappa said that the team's observation would be made available in the public domain so that others could learn from this water management system.

Mr. Prevost said the team discussed with water managers issues such as tariff, transparency and accountability in managing piped water supply schemes, support extended by government agencies, and whether water analyses were being done regularly to check quality. “They are doing great. They have to be commended for it,” he said.

At Bajpe, Mr. Hameed told the team that the panchayat was charging Rs. 20 as minimum tariff for supplying water up to 1,000 litres (or one kilolitre). The next slab is Rs. 3 per every 1,000 litres up to 10,000 litres. The panchayat is planning to increase the minimum tariff to Rs. 50. During rainy season, water was being supplied for 45 minutes a day and during summer it the supply was for an hour.

Mr. Shivashankar said the meter-based drinking water supply management system would be extended to all panchayats in two years. At the same time loopholes in the system would be plugged, he added.

More In: Mangaluru