Raghupati Bhat, MLA, said on Monday that three tankers would be pressed into service to provide drinking water to affected people in rural areas of Udupi Assembly constituency from Tuesday.

He was speaking at a meeting of presidents, vice-presidents, and panchayat development officers (PDOs) of 18 gram panchayats coming under the Udupi Assembly constituency here. Mr. Bhat said that efforts were on to get two more tankers. However, it was difficult to get tankers as most of them were supplying water for work on widening of national highway 66 in the district, he said.

It was the responsibility of gram panchayats to identify areas where water was needed so that tankers could be sent there.

Besides, the panchayats should specify how many days in a week the tankers should be sent. He had made arrangements for tankers on his own now till the government initiated action, Mr. Bhat added.

Chief Executive Officer of the zilla panchayat S.A. Prabhakar Sharma said that the gram panchayats facing water scarcity should pass a resolution and send a copy to the Deputy Commissioner's office.

The State government had released Rs. 1 crore to be spent on transportation of water.

The Deputy Commissioner after verifying the facts could release the amount required for the gram panchayats concerned, he said.

President of the Udupi Taluk Panchayat Katapady Shankar Poojary said that there were tanks in many of the gram panchayats. The panchayats should make arrangements to draw water from them by providing pumpsets and electricity connections. The panchayats must impose water tax on the residents. But they were afraid of doing so for the fear of losing votes, he said.

Assistant Executive Engineer of the zilla panchayat D.V. Hegde said that the government had sanctioned 104 water works for Udupi Assembly constituency for 2011-12. Of them, 76 had been completed, while 28 were under progress. The government had provided Rs. 13 lakh for the MLA's Task Force for drinking water, he said.

The presidents and PDOs gave details of the areas in their respective panchayats which faced water scarcity. The issue of stopping water supply by the Udupi City Municipal Council (CMC) to 150 houses in Tenkanidiyur Gram Panchayat limits figured in the meeting.

Tenkanidiyur Gram Panchayat president Yatish Karkera and Mr. Bhat accused each other of politicising the issue.

  • Efforts on to get two more tankers, says MLA

  • Gram panchayats told to identify affected areas