No end to water woes here Ground truth

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Struggle: Protests like this in Hubli-Dharwad for proper water supply are common.
Struggle: Protests like this in Hubli-Dharwad for proper water supply are common.

Mayor’s direction to officials on water supply has had

little impact

Despite adequate storage of drinking water, residents of Hubli-Dharwad experience water shortage and are forced to launch agitations every now and then.

People used to get water once in 15 days during drought when the Neerasagar Reservoir had almost dried up and water was pumped from the dead storage at Malaprabha Reservoir. With the region receiving good rainfall in the last three years and Neerasagar and Malaprabha reservoirs overflowing, the water supply is now once in five or six days, according to officials.

However, the problem is that while some areas get water once in five or six days, it is not so in other areas, and in some areas there is 24x7 water supply “unofficially”.

Mayor of Hubli-Dharwad Radhabai Sapare on three occasions directed the water board to supply water once in three days, but it hardly had any impact.

If one asks officials of the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB), they point a finger at the Hubli Electricity Supply Company (HESCOM) for frequent power cuts. Moreover, there is water leakage because the pipelines are old, they say. This excuse is very old. But the corporation hasn’t stopped releasing funds for maintenance of the pipelines.

“Although the State Government has released Rs. 50 crore of a Rs. 196-crore project for improving the water supply system in the twin cities, nobody knows what the water board officials have utilised it for,” says Pralhad Joshi, MP.

At a recent council meeting, the water board officials categorically stated that they wouldn’t be able to supply water once in three days even after the completion of the Rs. 196-crore project.

What has irked the people and also the elected representatives is that “no honest attempt is being made” by the water board to plug the leakage.

This has led to protests by residents at regular intervals. Although the monsoon has brought down the intensity of the protests, there is every likelihood of strong protests again, if positive action is not taken by the officials.

Girish Pattanashetti in Hubli




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