Staff Correspondent

Cleaning drains, maintaining hygiene has become difficult

‘Sewage being released into open drains'

Somashekar Reddy suggests deployment

of additional men for the drive

BELLARY: The general body of the Bellary City Corporation, which met here on Saturday, unanimously resolved to take up an encroachment clearance drive. Mayor Noorjahan chaired the meeting.

Chairman of the Standing Committee on Health Vali Sab, and other members, expressed concern over the encroachments on drains, especially in the old city, which had made cleaning of drains and maintenance of hygiene difficult.

Members pointed out that the response from officials from the health and engineering departments was lukewarm, despite the fact that councillors were keen on getting the encroachments removed.

“Shortage of staff” was the regular excuse given to them, the members said. They urged the Mayor and G. Somashekar Reddy, MLA and chairman, Karnataka Milk Federation, to take the required steps in this regard.

Also, the members said that sewage and other solid wastes were being released into open storm-water drains. “After repeated requests, a couple of workers were sent to clean the drains. But only a part of them could be cleaned. Therefore, there is an urgent need to first clear encroachments over the drains,” Mr. Sab stressed.

Mr. Reddy instructed officials to engage around 40 to 50 extra workers and start clearing encroachments on the drains.

The Executive Engineer, Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Sewage Board, has been asked to prioritise regularising unauthorised underground drainage connections. Officially, about 13,750 households have got underground drainage connections, while some 45,000 connections are unauthorised.

Basavaraj Alegaon, Executive Engineer, said work had already started on identifying unauthorised connections.

Mr. Reddy suggested that notices be served, or even water supply be disconnected, if people failed to respond positively.

K. Basavaraj, Hanumanthappa, Maridevaiah, Kumaraswamy, Sashikala, Ibrahim Babu, Mallanagouda were among the other members who participated in the discussion.