‘First, steps must be taken to ensure regular water supply, install meters'

Residents of the twin cities can heave a sigh of relief.

The Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) council on Monday put off the proposal on revision of water tariff.

Members, cutting across party lines, opposed the proposal when it came up for discussion during the monthly council meeting on Monday. They said the proposal should be dropped immediately as it would be an additional burden on residents.

Leader of the Opposition in the HDMC council Dasharath Wali and Janata Dal (Secular) member Rajanna Koravi urged the council not to consider the proposal on revising the water tariff. Intervening, Mayor Pandurang Patil said it would be better if the matter was brought before the council after the deadline to opt for One Time Settlement (OTS) to settle long-pending water bills ended.

Giving a ruling to put off the proposal indefinitely, Dr. Patil said the proposal could be considered by the council only after steps were taken to provide drinking water regularly to residents and the residents came forward to install metres for water supply connections.

The issue of problems and delay in issuing Building Permission (BP) and Completion Certificate (CC) for buildings in the twin cities and the apathetic attitude of the officials led to a heated exchange in the council meeting.

Members objected to the delay in initiating action against officials who were responsible for the problem.

The discussion on the issue ended with the Mayor directing the Commissioner to constitute a committee to set up a mechanism wherein the issue of BP and CC would be monitored by a single set of officer and employees.

The meeting resolved to allot five acres of land to Agastya International Foundation at Aryabhata Tech Park. The council took the decision as the HDMC Commissioner had made it clear that only one acre of land was available on the Unakal Water Works premises where the foundation had sought five acres.

Meanwhile, Mr. Koravi urged the council to reserve the Unakal Water Works premises to develop a playground as there were no playgrounds in the area.

The issue of illegal hoardings was raised by the former Deputy Mayor Narayan Jartarghar who wanted to know why action was not taken to remove illegal hoardings in prohibited areas.

He said that while the corporation itself had declared areas such as Kittur Chennamma Circle and other junctions as prohibited areas, hoardings were still erected and banners put up. No action was being taken by officials to stop it, they charged.

Dr. Patil asked the Commissioner to take steps to prevent illegal hoardings from being erected and banners put up.

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