ANDHRA PRADESH

Coloured water from taps shocks Minister

HYDERABAD April 9. A day after he held a meeting with the city legislators and corporators, the Tourism Minister, T. Srinivas Yadav, had the first hand experience of polluted water being supplied to people in the Old City.

Mr. Srinivas Yadav, who visited the areas in and around Mangalhat on Wednesday, was surprised to see black and foul smelling water coming out of taps. At Goshamahal, water was released on arrival of the Minister and to the shock of everyone it was black liquid that trickled out of the taps for more than ten minutes. Mr. Yadav scooped up the water in his hand only to find it smelling awfully bad.

Officials of the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) said the sewer and water lines had probably mixed and the leakage had to be identified. Water and sewer lines in the area were running one below the other and at some places where the pipes had rusted the sewerage water entered the water line leading to pollution. V. Jambul Reddy, Chief General Manager, HMWSSB, said the pipelines would be checked and the problem set right. However, he said it was the responsibility of the consumers to change their water pipelines once in ten years in their own interest.

It was the same story elsewhere too. A large number of people clustered around the Minister to explain their grievances. The Majlis MLA, Syed Sajjad, and the local corporators also accompanied the Minister. At several places in Chaknawadi, Hari Dargah and Shibli Hills, Mr. Yadav enquired with the householders about the water position. He asked them whether they were paying water charges regularly. "Should we pay even when we don't get water," asked an old man.

Later speaking to presspersons, Mr. Yadav said the water supply position would be improved by next fortnight. Efforts would be made to tackle the pollution problem. It was imperative that whatever water was supplied was free from contamination. He would be visiting the areas again to check whether instructions given by him were carried out or not, he said.

He said an overhead tank would be constructed at Shibli Hills at a cost of Rs. 21 lakhs and from here water would be supplied to 15 bastis. The HMWSSB would provide Rs. 11 lakhs for the project and another Rs. 10 lakhs would be provided by the Mjalis MP, Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, from his MP fund. The work will start within a week.

The Quli Qutb Shah Urban Development Authority had drilled 25 power borewells in the Old City and it will be laying another 75 borewells by the month-end, said its administrator, J. R. Anand.