ANDHRA PRADESH

Raichur citizens deprived of drinking water

Raichur Dec. 4. The citizens of Raichur are deprived of drinking water due to the failure of the authorities to ensure water supply from the Second Stage Drinking Water Augmentation Scheme from the Krishna.

Even after a fault developed in the rising main of the scheme, water supply was continued in some parts of the city. However, the pumping of water from the scheme was suspended 15 days ago following a crack at the expansion joint in a portion of a rising main laid within the premises of the Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS).

Water supply will not be resumed from the scheme for another 10 days as repair work is being taken up.

The non-coordination between the city municipality and the district administration has left the people in the lurch. In addition, the apathy of the district administration in taking the stock of the situation has worsened the drinking water supply position in a majority of the localities in the city.

The people especially living in a number of extensions are the worst hit as there are no other sources to meet their demands. Especially, people in Jawaharnagar, Vasavinagar, Savitry Colony, NGO's Colony, Vidyanagar, Ganganagar, Manikprabhu Layout, Amarkhed Layout, Polytechnic Layout and parts of Harijanwada, Patel Road, Netajinagar, Bhangikunta and Gunj Area are striving to fetch water since summer due to the lack of rainfall. The existing sources such as borewells and open wells in these localities are going dry.

But none of the authorities concerned, including the district administration, have thought of any alterative mode to ensure drinking water supply in the affected localities till the resumption of water supply from the scheme.

Though the city municipality has started supplying water in tankers, it is facing shortage of funds to meet the demand in the affected localities. It is said that the hands of the city municipality has been tied as the district administration has failed to clear pending bills towards transportation of water for five months. The district administration has washed its hands off stating that the Government has not released any additional grants.

The Deputy Commissioner, G.N.Nayak, told The Hindu that it was not possible for the district administration to ensure drinking water supply to all extensions through tankers. The citizens should wait till the completion of the repair works on the scheme, he added.

He said, in this regard, he had a discussion with the officials of the board and the contractor concerned. He directed them to complete the repair work expeditiously and resume water supply soon.

On the other hand, neither the District in-charge Minister, Raja Amareshwara Naik, nor the Raichur MLA, Syed Yasin, have shown any interest in handling the situation. The two have not bothered to respond to the woes of the citizens by not taking up the issue with the district administration. They have kept away from the city spending most of their time in Bangalore. Even the Raichur MP, A.Venkatesh Naik, has not shown any interest in addressing the problem.

The pumping of water in the city as well as for the extension localities was commenced in October when the scheme was formally commissioned. However, the authorities of the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board here, who implemented the scheme, commenced water supply in the city even without conducting the hydraulic test of the rising main and its connected valves.

As a result, the rising main developed faults forcing the authorities to suspend water supply frequently. It is another matter that the board did not ensure proper water supply to the city even when the scheme was working. The inferior quality of materials used in the rising main was the main reason for the breakdown of the scheme.

The leakage in the rising main of the scheme continued even after an inspection by an independent team. Finally, the board decided to suspend water supply from the scheme till the repair work was completed.

Now the board is conducting hydraulic test on a portion of the rising main and si plugging leaks in the identified valves.

Sources in the board said that the repair work on the rising main was in progress round the clock with 60 per cent of it being completed. The hydraulic test and plugging of leaks in the valves would be completed in another 10 days. Till then water would not be pumped into the rising main, they said.

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