Kozhikode

Local bodies to hire only GPS-fitted tankers for water supply schemes

Logbook to be made mandatory to record details of daily supply

Aimed at ensuring fair distribution of potable water in drought hit areas and its real-time monitoring, local bodies will be allowed to hire only GPS-fitted tanker lorries for their summer water supply schemes in the district. In keeping with the latest instructions from the district administration, a logbook will also be made mandatory to record details of daily water supply to ensure transparency in the sector.

Revenue Department officials say the move is a continuation of a similar GPS-based system introduced in 2017 to closely track the water supply activities by local bodies during drought. The main objective is to avoid any misuse of the drought relief fund.

A few years ago, there were incidents in which some local bodies were accused of diverting the project fund after colluding with some of the tanker lorry operators in the district. The suspected incidents had also led to altercations between various political parties and panchayat authorities.

Following the District Collector’s directive, the Directorate of Panchayats will monitor activities in the sector and submit its report to the district administration every two weeks. The details of local bodies operating the water supply scheme without GPS system will be recorded for further legal action.

It will be the responsibility of secretaries of local bodies to maintain a proper logbook with details of vehicles used for various water supply schemes. They will have to confirm that only GPS-fitted tanker lorries are used.

Stringent steps

The Revenue Department undertakes stringent monitoring of the sector as the local bodies have been allowed to spend a fair amount as part of drought mitigation activities till May. Based on the latest instructions, the Kozhikode Corporation may spend up to ₹16.5 lakh this month for various relief activities. For municipalities, the ceiling is ₹11 lakh during the term. Grama panchayats may spend up to ₹5.5 lakh for water supply schemes.

The Corporation may spend a separate fund of ₹ 22 lakh from April 1 to May 31. For the municipalities, the limit is ₹16.5 lakh during the same period, while grama panchayats may spend up to ₹11 lakh during the second phase of intervention.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 4:18:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/local-bodies-to-hire-only-gps-fitted-tankers-for-water-supply-schemes/article26489774.ece

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