Managing Director of the Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board Adhar Sinha announced that all pending and ongoing pipeline works in Greater Hyderabad region, 1,100 in number, will be taken up soon and finished by March ending.
He declared this at the Ranga Reddy District Review Committee meeting on Tuesday, which was dominated by discussions about acute drinking water scarcity and lack of supply infrastructure.
He and the GHMC Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu were apparently caught in a tight spot, when MLAs from urban constituencies pressed for a spot reply about the way out from the impending water crisis.
Citing various problems faced by residents of Malkajgiri, MLA Akula Rajender sought to know the action plan for the pipeline laying works pending in his constituency. He gave proposals worth Rs.13-crore to Mr.Krishna Babu, who said works would be taken up based on priority.
Serilingampally, facing a shortage of about 2 MGD, is inhabited by many poor households having no relief of even bore-wells, complained MLA M. Bhikshapathi Yadav. Similar grievances were aired by the Quthbullahpur MLA K. Srisailam Goud too.
MLC K.Nageshwar drew attention to the abnormal water bills received by the slum dwellers, about which the MD assured action. Also questioned by him were the non-remittance of property tax share by GHMC, and defaulting government departments. He also wanted to know the rationale behind application of industrial power tariff for water pumping.
However, official response was lukewarm. While the Water Board's scarcity of funds found sympathetic nods, GHMC chief's non-committal response drew members' ire. Mr.Krishna Babu, listed the corporation's financial limitations and said works being done for the Board by GHMC would far exceed its property tax share.
MLA from Kukatpally Jayaprakash Narayan predicted that unless capital costs are borne by the government, the metro water supply system could collapse eventually.
Rural water supply is no better as many bore-wells went dry already, noted the legislators from respective regions. MLA, Ibrahimpatnam M. Kishan Reddy urged for support from the Metro Water Board for his constituency and Maheshwaram.
With motors under repair or connections pending for water tanks, many villages are now dependent on agricultural wells for drinking water, the legislators claimed.
Minister in-charge D.Sreedhar Babu and Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy directed the respective officials to act upon the complaints. Drought conditions in the district, Irrigation, Animal Husbandry, Power Supply, Housing, Ration Coupons and Pensions were some other aspects discussed in the meeting.