The acute shortage of drinking water in many mandals kicked up a furore at the Zilla Parishad general body meeting held here on Sunday. Elected representatives cutting across party lines vented their ire against the Rural Water Supply department officials for failing to foresee the impending water crisis.

Allaying their fears, Zilla Parishad Chairperson Kuchipudi Vijaya assured that a sum of Rs.2 crore will be given as special grant to tide over the water crisis and wanted the RWS department to utilise the funds for digging of new bore wells and repairs to existing ones.

Earlier, Chilakaluripet MLA P. Pulla Rao took objection to sanctioning of RWS works worth Rs. 4 crore in his constituency without his knowledge. Joint Collector Gaurav Uppal tried to pacify the MLA and said that RWS officials should consult the MLA before going ahead with the works.

The MLA further alleged that the Irrigation department had given permission to Coco-Cola unit at Mangalagiri to withdraw 0.2 TMC of water from K.W Delta canal.

But the Irrigation department officials clarified that the unit had applied permission for drawing only 0.02 TMC of water and the matter is with the State Government.

The MPP from Nagaram complained that 50 per cent of borewells in his mandal were not suitable for drinking water due to their high salinity.

Even though it has been three years since he had brought the issue to the department's notice, nothing was done till now.

Sattenapalli MLA Y. Venkateswara Reddy demanded a 300 metres pipeline should be laid to provide drinking water to villages in Rajupalem mandal and wanted the Forest Department to give permission to lay the pipeline in the forest area.

Replying to complaints from Bollapalli mandal, the Joint Collector said that a sum of Rs.20 lakh had been released to the mandal to tide over the drinking water crisis and wanted the RWS department to utilise the services of private borewells.

The issue of alleged irregularities in the implementation of NREGS also rocked the meeting with TDP MLA K. Sridhar alleging that some influential ministers were shielding the corrupt evoking strong counter reaction from the Congress members.

Project Director, Dwama, Y. Yugandhar Kumar said that the social audit conducted on works valued at Rs.92.24 crore unearthed irregularities in works worth Rs.4.81 crore and action has already been initiated against MDOs, sarpanches and field assistants.

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