KARNATAKA

Officials told to expedite work on Kabini water project

Making a point: Deputy Commissioner P. Manivannan reviewing progress in the implementation of JNNURM projects in Mysore on Wednesday.

Making a point: Deputy Commissioner P. Manivannan reviewing progress in the implementation of JNNURM projects in Mysore on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: — PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

Special Correspondent

Plan to renovate heritage buildings at a cost of Rs. 20 crore soon

MYSORE: Officials have been directed to expedite implementation of the Kabini Drinking Water Project under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) at an estimated cost of Rs.108 crore.

At a JNNURM projects review meeting held here on Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner P. Manivannan, special officer in-charge of JNNURM projects in Mysore, directed the officials to complete all formalities pertaining to the Kabini water project in three weeks. Disciplinary action would be taken against them if they failed to do so, he said.

It was decided to prepare a detailed plan to renovate and refurbish heritage buildings in the city at an estimated cost of Rs. 20 crore.

The meeting witnessed a heated debate when a section of the councillors expressed their ire over the tardy progress of work on JNNURM projects.

In another issue related to drinking water, it was suggested that the cloud of suspicion surrounding the contract awarded to a private company be cleared as there were fears of privatisation of water supply.

The company was given a six-year performance-based water management contract for Mysore city and it signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mysore City Corporation (MCC) and a contract agreement with the MCC and the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB) in December 2008.

The project enjoins on the contractors to harness the existing resources at Hongalli and Melapur treatment plants and bring water to people through a network of about 1,200 km from 28 small and large reservoirs and increase supply to 24 hours gradually.

However, in view of discordance among the councillors, it was opined that the project should be taken up on a pilot basis and introduced in a few wards before expanding its scope throughout the city.

The other issue of significance pertained to the relocation of the city bus stand located adjacent to the palace.

It was suggested recently that the bus stand be relocated to People’s Park, which raised a hue and cry among the people.

While the authorities are keen on relocating the bus stand, non-governmental organisations have raised a question why they did not object to the construction of a mega mall that will lead to traffic congestion at K.R. Circle and surrounding areas? In view of the difference of opinion, the work has been temporarily halted, but there is no solution in sight as yet. Meanwhile, the officials claimed that the work near the suburban bus stand was progressing as per schedule and they were advised by the Deputy Commissioner to create a capacity to handle 2,500 buses daily.

The heritage buildings of the city will get a facelift under JNNURM and a detailed action plan will be ready by the second week of February. This will include renovation and restoration of major landmarks of the city.

The other projects that came up for discussion were the work on four-lane ring road and quality of houses under the slum development project which was found to be unsatisfactory.

Mysore City Corporation Commissioner R.S. Raikar and other officials were present.

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