Karnataka

Vani Vilas Water Works to retain responsibility of supplying water

Members debating the water supply issue during the Mysuru City Corporation council meeting on Friday.— Photo: M.A. Sriram

Members debating the water supply issue during the Mysuru City Corporation council meeting on Friday.— Photo: M.A. Sriram  

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The Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) Council on Friday resolved to retain the responsibility of supplying drinking water to the city after the imminent exit of Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Company Ltd. (JUSCO) by May-end.

In the meeting on Friday, the councillors resolved that the Vani Vilas Water Works would once again be entrusted with the responsibility of water supply to the city apart from maintenance of the infrastructure.

Besides, the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB) would be asked to ensure that the pending civic work under 24x7 drinking water supply project are completed by the contractors.

The contract period of JUSCO comes to an end on May 31and there were two options before the MCC; to hand over the distribution system to the KUWSDB or to retain the responsibility.

Taking serious objections to the proposal to hand over the distribution system to the KUWSDB, the councillors supported the view of former Mayor Srikantaiah that a ‘Mysuru Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board’ be constituted to ensure water supply without any hitch.

Mr. Srikanataiah argued that divesting the MCC of its responsibility of water supply to the citizens amounted to hiving off a major duty of the councillors. He said the 74{+t}{+h}amendment to the Constitution has devolved greater powers to the local bodies including the responsibility of ensuring water supply for domestic, commercial and industrial usage and the authorities should respect it.

Former Mayor Ayub Khan, councillors Nandish Preetham, Ravi and others who participated in the discussion opined that they would be at the receiving end of the public in the event of disruption in water supply.

However, economics was one of the key issues factored in the argument in favour of vesting the KUWSDB with the responsibility. The MCC will incur an expenditure of Rs. 3.88 crore per month as against its revenue collection of Rs. 3.5 lakh. Besides, it will require 214 personnel which will cost the MCC an additional Rs. 23 lakh per month. Besides, it is perceived that there could be difficulties in ensuring smooth transition from JUSCO to MCC from June 1, 2015 due to paucity of time.

In view of the paucity of staff with the Vani Vials Water Works, the MCC will also write to the government to depute or retain some of the KUWDB staff who were part of the 24x7 project in Mysuru.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 2:00:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/vani-vilas-water-works-to-retain-responsibility-of-supplying-water/article7213062.ece

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