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HDMC told to crack down on encroachments

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Reaching out: Minister for Urban Development S. Suresh Kumar interacting with a vegetable vendor at Mahatma Gandhi Market in Hubli on Tuesday.
Reaching out: Minister for Urban Development S. Suresh Kumar interacting with a vegetable vendor at Mahatma Gandhi Market in Hubli on Tuesday.

Staff Correspondent

Parking lots in many buildings in Hubli and Dharwad have been converted into shops

Rs. 500-cr. drinking water supply project approved

Three sites identified for garbage disposal

HUBLI: Minister for Urban Development S. Suresh Kumar has said that he is not satisfied with the reply given by officials on the encroachment of public properties in the twin cities.

Addressing presspersons after holding review meetings of the Hubli Dharwad Municipal Corporation and the Hubli Dharwad Urban Development Authority here on Tuesday, the Minister said some of the officials had provided wrong information on the encroachments.

The Minister said it had come to his notice that in many commercial buildings in the twin cities, the basements, which were meant for parking, had been converted into shops. “Very soon we will issue a direction to the HDMC Commissioner to take action against such encroachments,” he said.

Mr. Kumar said that while the level of urbanisation in the country was 28 per cent, in Karnataka it was 34 per cent. He said the State Government had already approved a Rs. 510-crore proposal for improving drinking water supply in the twin cities, and Rs. 200 crore had been sanctioned for the project.

On the problem of pending water bills in the twin cities, he said the Government would very soon approve an HDMC proposal on one-time settlement aimed at clearing bills totalling Rs. 33 crore.

The Minister said he had directed the HDMC Commissioner to take steps within a month to protect the Channabasaveshwara tank and Bhavikatti tank in Dharwad from encroachments and prevent sewerage from entering the tanks

On the solid waste management project, he said three sites had been identified to dispose of garbage generated in the twin cities. A total of 67.2 acres had been identified on Karwar Road and at Hosa Yallapur and Shivalli for the purpose.

The Minister said Rs. 100.2 crores had been sanctioned for the sewage treatment plant to be set up at Gabbur village and for the development of the underground drainage system in the twin cities.

Suspended

The Minister, who earlier visited several places including markets in Hubli and Dharwad, said he was shocked to see the bad condition of the Supermarket in Dharwad. He said the zonal officer in charge of the area had failed to take any step to improve the conditions there. “Considering his apathy towards the problem, I have directed the Commissioner to immediately suspend him,” Mr. Kumar said.

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