Tap connection scheme yet to take off

GUNTUR, DEC. 6. Except for a couple of municipalities in the three districts of Guntur region, none has implemented the scheme for providing tap connections to the poor at Rs. 1,200 so far, though a Government Order was issued on August 3.

One of the pet schemes of the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Government, the Guntur Municipal Corporation made a slow beginning by distributing 10,000 application forms two weeks back. The GMC has received 5,000 filled-in requests for tap connections and is making a feasibility study area-wise.

The Municipal Commissioner, D. Rama Rao, told The Hindu that in the first phase wherever the water pressure was good new tap connections were given. The total number of connections to be released could be closer to 4,000 in this phase. The data had been computerised and field survey for eligibility and feasibility was being conducted, he added.

Filtration plant

The new water filtration plant was getting ready at Takkelapadu, which would supply additional water during summer, hence it was not difficult to provide new connections, he added.

Out of the 15 municipalities in the Guntur region (comprising Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore), only Bapatla and Macherla have released 35 connections under the new scheme, while Markapur and Gudur had either not received or called for applications, the Regional Joint Director Municipal Administration, D. Karuna Chandrababu, said.

There were 51,174 existing connections in these 15 local bodies and a sanction for 15,050 new connections was available with them on the date of publication of the G.O. The Superintendent Engineer (Public Health) sanctioned 4,100 additional taps under the new scheme.

Requests pile up

The municipalities received more than 7,000 applications, but only 35 taps were commissioned. In the general category these municipalities had released only 8,339 during the same period against the 15,050 taps sanctioned. The State Government was monitoring every fortnight the progress of the scheme, he said.

Various reasons like non-availability of funds, lack of feasibility and others were being sighted for the non-compliance. At Sattenapalle, however, efforts were being made to provide 195 connections very soon out of the 816 applicants.

The number of applications received for connections under the new scheme at other towns were: Tenali - 116; Narsaraopet - 1,300; Chilakaluripet - 1,720; Bapatla - 867; Ponnur - 195; Repalle - 230; Macherla - 662; Manglagiri - 650; Ongole - 154; Chirala - 302; Kandukuru - 25; and Kavali - 32.

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