Bantwal to get underground drainage soon

Concern over pollution of Netravati

Special Correspondent

BANTWAL: This agricultural town, that is fast developing as one of the favourite satellite towns for Mangalore, is now choked with civic waste, as the town does not have an underground drainage system.

Bantwal, once known for its crystal clean water, green surroundings and clean streets, is now bearing the burden of rapid urbanisation as it is growing in size laterally and horizontally. The town leaders are now worried about the untreated sewage flowing into the Netravati at various points, polluting the water that is consumed by people in Mangalore and nearby areas.

This town, spread over 25 square kilometres, has played host to political leaders in the state including the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President, B. Janardhana Poojary, and the former Transport Minister B. Ramanatha Rai.

According to the Bantwal Taluk Panchayat President, Sudarshan Jain, Bantwal town has remained the way it is now for the last 20 years in respect of civic amenities and it is time it got its share of facilities and the underground drainage system is the most important of them.

The Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board in its letter dated May 10, 2005 has written to the Managing Director of the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC) stating that the State Government has accorded administrative approval for the underground drainage scheme for Bantwal town vide Government Order UDD/2/UDS/2003 for sanction of Rs. 12.27 crores for laying the drainage lines complete with treatment plant and wet wells.

The town panchayat will have to contribute its share of 20 per cent at Rs. 2.454 crores while the assistance from the Government will be Rs. 3.681 crores and loan from financial institutions will be Rs. 6.135 crores.

According to the Bantwal MLA, B. Nagaraja Shetty, Bantwal town is growing with at alarming pace and with the Bantwal Cross Road (B.C. Road), which is a link between Mangalore and Bantwal, also witnessing tremendous growth, there appears to be immediate need for upgrading the town's basic infrastructure.

Since the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board does not have the funds to bear the local body share, the KUIDFC has been asked by the Board to fund the project to the extent of Rs. 2.4 crores.

The Board has also informed that the MLA has written to the Minister for Municipal Administration. S.R. Morey, and the KUIDFC to adjust the local body share through the Government or the KUWSDB.

But at this juncture, neither the Bantwal Town Panchayat nor the KUWSDB have any funds.

If Bantwal is to get its underground drainage system, the KUIDFC will have to pitch in the local body share of Rs. 2.404 crores.

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