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Rs. 40 cr. released to ULBs to tackle drinking water shortage

Special Correspondent
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Funds to be used to drill borewells

Qamar-ul Islam
Qamar-ul Islam

The State government has released Rs. 40 crore to urban local bodies to take steps to arrange for drinking water supply till the onset of the monsoon.

Announcing this at a press conference in Bangalore on Thursday, Minister for Municipalities and Local Bodies, Public Enterprises and Minorities Welfare Qamar-ul Islam said this allocation would be in addition to the Rs. 18.72 crore that was already available with the Municipalities Department.

He said that the additional allocation of Rs. 40 crore could be used for deepening and cleaning the borewells, drilling additional borewells, repair of water supply lines and installation of motor pumps. The Minister said that the government would provide more funds if need be.

The allocation to districts and ULBs were made on the basis of population. Belgaum district has got the highest allocation of Rs. 3.75 crore followed by Kolar (Rs. 2.50 crore), Tumkur (Rs. 2.40 crore), Mysore (Rs. 2.35 crore) and Bangalore (Rs. 20 lakh).

Officials warned

He said action would be taken against officials of the Urban Local Bodies if they failed to collect cent per cent property tax, water tax and advertisement fee.

He added that the State Finance Commission grants would be stopped for ULBs that fall short of revenue collection targets.

When asked how the government would tackle the drinking water shortage as a large number of borewells catering to drinking water supply schemes had failed, the Minister looked towards the skies indicating that only rains could provide solution.

Women’s reservation

Mr. Islam noted that guidelines for preparing the reservation list for election of presidents and vice-presidents for the ULBs are being worked out.

There would be 50 p.c. reservation for women for top posts, he said, adding that they had only 33 per cent reservation during their election as members.

Mr. Qamar-ul Islam said that the government would provide training in administration to the newly elected members of the Urban Local Bodies at the State Institute for Urban Development-Mysore.

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