Illegal water tapping continues unabated

A Mangaluru City Corporation worker fixes the area on the main pipeline from where water was being illegally tapped.

A Mangaluru City Corporation worker fixes the area on the main pipeline from where water was being illegally tapped.  

Illegal tapping of water from two main pipelines supplying water to the city from Thumbe vented dam continues unabated with Mangaluru City Corporation officials detecting seven such connections and disconnecting them five days ago.

Sources in the corporation told The Hindu that five illegal connections were found and disconnected at Arkula. As many as two such connections were found near Farangipet.

An alert citizen informed the corporation about a water leak near Farangipet on November 8. When the officials checked, they found all seven illegal connections on a two-kilometre stretch. Pumping of water was stopped on November 9 morning for disconnecting them.

Of them, pipelines of three connections were two inches in diameter, two of two-and-half inches in diameter and two connections were one-and-half inches in diameter.

It appeared that a group of people in those areas had joined together to steal water, a corporation official said.

The two main pipelines each have the capacity to supply 80 MLD (million litres a day) to the city from Thumbe. The seven illegal connections were taken from the old pipeline laid about three decades ago.

There are at least 30 illegal connections now under the old and new pipelines put together. The new pipeline laid by availing of loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) more than five years ago had four illegal connections, the sources said.

They said that people stole water not only for drinking but also for farming purposes from the main pipelines.

The official said that the transmission loss in the old pipeline could be 50 per cent (40 MLD) and in the new pipeline, it could be 10 per cent. It was mainly due to water theft.

Of about 160 MLD of water being pumped from the Thumbe in the two main pipelines, about 40 MLD to 45 MLD of water was lost due to theft, the official said.

Meanwhile, there is not much progress in handing over the corporation’s 2 MGD (million gallons a day) capacity pipeline exclusively to Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat to supply water to villages that are between Thumbe and Padil from Thumbe.

Deputy Secretary of the panchayat N.R. Umesh said that the panchayat has reserved Rs. 24 crore in its 2016-17 action plan for the purpose. The government is yet to give approval to the proposal.

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