ANDHRA PRADESH

CPI(M) padayatra from April 12

Water woes: Residents of a colony in Anantapur tapping municipal water with the help of a hand pump to overcome the scarcity. —

Water woes: Residents of a colony in Anantapur tapping municipal water with the help of a hand pump to overcome the scarcity. —   | Photo Credit: Photo: R.V.S. Prasad

Staff Reporter

District likely to face water crisis as PABR scheme is yet to take off



Town’s water requirement around 20 million litres a day

Modernisation of HCL will hit summer storage tanks in the district



ANANTAPUR: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has decided to take out a ‘padayatra’ from Penna Ahobilam Balancing Reservoir (PABR) to the district headquarters town, a distance of about 35 kms, from April 12 to 16, to highlight the alleged Government neglect of the sanctioned drinking water pipeline scheme to the town.

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had promised to quench the thirst of Anantapur by sanctioning a pipeline scheme from PABR during his ‘Rajiv Nagarabata’ visit to the town in 2004. Accordingly, a scheme was sanctioned to the then municipality with the assistance from HUDCO.

However, the scheme could not take off due to severe funds crunch in the civic body and it was not in a position even to meet the 20 per cent of the cost as its matching share. Town secretary of the party V. Rambhupal stated that they had planned the padayatra to take the issue to people as the Chief Minister had failed to keep up his word.

Demand-supply

The population of the town requires about 20 million litres per day even at the lower per capita supply of about 70 litres per day against the desired 135 litres per day. Of the 20 million litres being supplied at present, about 16 MLD was being taken from the Tungabhadra Right High Level Canal (HLC) and the remaining quantity was being met from borewells and local augmentation.

But, the people of the town were in danger of facing a severe water crisis as the Government had sanctioned modernisation of HLC and it was difficult to get water in the summer storage tanks from HLC frequently, if the modernisation was on. The poor would be the worst sufferers, as affluent sections could at least purchase water from commercial water suppliers, Mr. Rambhupal explained.

He reminded the ruling party that the foundation stone was laid for the pipeline scheme on March 20, 2005, right before the municipal elections after the civic body was upgraded as corporation. But the works were yet to be grounded. The CPI (M) had decided to expose the ruling party’s apathy to the problem as the Assembly elections were round the corner, he stated.

New scheme

After winding up the HUDCO scheme, the Centre had sanctioned a new scheme under the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme in Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) in April 2007 due to the persistent efforts of Anantapur legislator A. Venkatarami Reddy. As per the new scheme, the Centre would grant 80 per cent of the scheme cost of Rs. 65 crore and the remaining would be met by the State government and the civic body.

As the municipality was not in a position to pool up resources even for its 10 per cent contribution, the State government had agreed to share the burden. The tenders for the scheme were finalised in January this year but works have not been grounded so far due to alleged political interventions.

The pipeline would be laid from PABR under the new scheme with a reservoir at Brahmanapalli and overhead tanks in the town to meet the drinking water needs of the town for the next 15 years.

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