Mayor M.V. Ratna Bindu said on Tuesday that the Telugu Desam Party should take full responsibility for the lapses in the construction of the 10-MGD water treatment plant at Ramalingeswara Nagar, the collection well of which sank into the ground and triggered a major water crisis.

Addressing a press conference in the city Congress office, Ms. Ratna Bindu said that the foundation stone for the water treatment plant was laid in 1999 by the then Mayor T. Venkateswara Rao of the CPI. The project was completed in the reign of Panchumarthi Anuradha of the TDP. The attempts by TDP leaders to blame Congress leaders for the sinking of the collection well were “meaningless”, she said.

Ms. Ratna Bindu said Municipal Commissioner G. Ravi Babu had ordered an inquiry into the circumstances leading to the sinking of the well. A committee of engineering experts from Chennai and New Delhi constituted for the purpose would submit a report on it. The technical question that was already doing the rounds was “whether or not a concrete base was laid for the collection well.”

All the elected representatives have been working round the clock along with the officials to come out with alternatives to supply water to the 2.5-lakh citizens who were earlier getting their water from the treatment plant. The VMC pressed into service 40 water tankers and even the fire department pressed into service five tankers. Nineteen defunct borewells have been re-activated and a toll-free telephone has also been launched for the convenience of citizens. The water treatment plant was tested at 2.30 p.m. on Tuesday, but had to be shut down because of a minor hitch, she said.

Former Deputy Mayor Ch. Krishna Kumar said though the Congress had more number of corporators than the TDP during the reign of Ms. Anuradha, she had her say because the TDP was in power in the State. The TDP should take responsibility for the poor quality in construction of the plant.

Dig at TDP MLA

Congress party city president Pyla Sominaidu said the “continuous spreading of canard” by TDP MLA Devineni Umamaheswara Rao against Minister K. Parthasarathy, Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Ragagopal and Vijayawada Central MLA Malladi Vishnu would not be tolerated by the party activists.

Mr. Umamaheswara Rao was “making a fool of himself” when he talked about former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

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