Special Correspondent

`A lot depends on the Adikmet experiment'

  • HMWSSB decides to go slow on the round-the-clock supply plan
  • Plan a ploy to levy heavy charges on consumers, allege the Left parties
  • Illegal connections to be regularised thus bringing them under the revenue ambit

    HYDERABAD: Despite successful execution of daily water supply and even twice-a-day supplies in Adikmet division, the Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) has decided to go slow on the round-the-clock supply plan.

    As per the original schedule, the round-the-clock supplies were to have begun in the first week of August, but they now stand postponed, at least till the month-end.

    "The pilot project is going on well, but we want to take people along and not just jump into the 24-hour supply plan. It is not that we are not on track or lagging behind in time," M. Satyanarayana, Director, Technical, HMWSSB, said here on Monday.

    A recent joint study carried out by the Administrative Staff College of India and the HMWSSB found that people were in favour of public taps and more importantly, free supplies. The recent announcement of free supply to the poor with consumption of less than 5,000 kilo litres by Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy further put the project in a bind.

    Protests

    Several Left parties and organisations have staged protests dismissing the round-the-clock supply plan as a ploy of the Board to levy heavy charges on consumers, particularly the urban poor. Criticism was also abound that the plan is being executed without readying the infrastructure.

    "We are stepping up the distribution system, laying new pipelines, an important prerequisite for the ambitious plan," officials explained.

    Nevertheless, the stage is being set for round-the-clock supply in Adikmet division, plugging several loopholes in the distribution network in the division, comprising 5,500 household connections, more importantly, by regularising illegal connections and bringing all households into the revenue ambit.

    Meanwhile, the plan to extend the pilot study to two more divisions - Jubilee Hills and Asmangadh - has been kept in the backburner. "We have to see the results of the Adikmet experiment and get the big picture, particularly about people's readiness, before replicating the plan elsewhere," Mr. Satyanarayana said.