Mangaluru

Panchayats require environmental engineers, health officers: CEO

The Chief Executive Officer of Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat M.R. Ravi recently appealed to a State government committee to apprise the government on the need to appoint environmental engineers and health officers to zilla panchayats for the scientific management of its solid and liquid waste management units.

He made the appeal to S.G. Nanjayyana Mutt headed Committee on Review of Rural Drinking Water Supply, Water Purification and Sanitation Projects at a meeting.

The CEO said that panchayat development officers (PDOs) are not experts at managing the infrastructure of solid and liquid waste units. The panchayats spend about ₹20 lakh to set up each such unit. If they were to remain, functional experts were required to monitor them. The urban local bodies had environmental engineers and health officers to manage such units. As management of solid and liquid waste in rural areas has become a challenge, the panchayats required experts.

Construction of ‘kattas’

On the traditional method of constructing ‘kattas’ (water storage structures) across streams and rivulets, the CEO said a proposal to approve low cost kattas was pending with the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department. Such low cost kattas would cost below ₹1 lakh.

The proposal was on approving Marike (a place in Puttur taluk) model of katta in which there would be no vents or concrete pillars. Such kattas allowed free flow of floodwater during rainy season and could be built again before summer.

The CEO appealed to the committee to take it up with the government to get the approval. He said that of 365 mini vented dams costing upto ₹5 lakh proposed to be built in the district in the first stage, 263 have been completed. Water for summer has been stored in 130 dams now.

Taking on the Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Ltd (KRIDL), a member of the committee said it has achieved the least progress in Dakshina Kannada in completing projects in the State. The member wondered over the KRIDL still searching for sites for building such units in some gram panchayats.

The CEO said that the zilla panchayat has recommended to the government to drop works on building 29 drinking water purification plants allotted to KRIDL in the district as works have not been commenced.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 10:25:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/panchayats-require-environmental-engineers-health-officers-ceo/article21269399.ece

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