Govind D. Belgaumkar

‘Continuous water supply can bring down the wastage of water considerably’

MANGALORE: Not long ago Hosa Yallapur area of Dharwad and Nrupathunga Betta of Hubli used to get water once in nine days. Today, residents of the areas get round-the-clock water supply.

The lives of the people there have changed for the better after the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation implemented introduced 24x7 water supply in eight wards.

Storage of water is no longer necessary. H.R. Suresh, a journalist residing at Nrupathunga Betta, said on the phone that he had disposed of four drums and a plastic tank recently.

Retired government servant Vinayak Hampiholi recently sold the plastic tank he had purchased. His nephew, Gopalakrishna, said a couple of concrete tanks in his house would soon be demolished. Thus, houses are becoming more spacious with plastic and steel drums being disposed of, while those constructing new houses no longer need to construct overhead tanks or buy a water pump. For emergencies, however, some people do have underground sumps.

The former Commissioner of the HDMC P. Manivannan has stated in a blog that he used to think that there was no need for 24x7 water supply, and it was sufficient to get water regularly for two to three hours a day.

But he had learnt later that round-the-clock supply in fact brought down wastage considerably, prevented water contamination and, above all, freed women from the drudgery of collecting water at odd hours.

Pointing out that those needing three buckets of water a day would tend to store five buckets of water in the limited-supply situation and emptied the containers every time they got fresh water, Mr. Manivannan, who is now the Deputy Commissioner of Mysore district, said this “repetitive practice” in every household put together would lead to “a colossal wastage of water”.

Mr. Manivannan said that involvement of private firms in maintaining water supply was sometimes wrongly construed as privatisation.

It was not privatisation because there was no transfer of assets and infrastructure from the Government to the private operator on a permanent basis or a long term of 30 years and above; and the government body alone fixed the tariff and managed the staff. He alleged that the lobby benefiting from illegal connections was behind the “privatisation campaign”.