Piped water supply, UGD for 30 villages soon

Staff Reporter

KUWS&DB to commission projects at a cost of Rs. 309.57 cr.

Bangalore: Residents of 30 villages and towns across the State will get piped drinking water and underground drainage facilities in the next one year with the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWS&DB) commissioning these projects estimated at Rs. 309.57 crore in 2008-2009.

Urban Development Minister S. Suresh Kumar, who chaired a review meeting with KUWS&DB officials on Thursday, directed the officials to ensure that all the planned projects for 2008-09 were completed in time.

While the villages of Srinivasapura, Kundagol, Shiralakoppa and Tirthahalli would get water under the piped water supply scheme, Somwarpet, Yelandur, Yellapura, Holalkere and Jagalur would be covered under the Accelerated Urban Water Supply programme, he said.

Seventeen towns, including Mandya, Muddebihal, Jamakhandi, Kunigal, Shimoga, Jewargi, Chitradurga and Bhadravati would be covered under the urban water supply scheme. That apart, underground drainage scheme would be implemented in Kolar II Stage, Gadag-Betageri, Jewargi and Gangavati, the Minister said.

Pointing out that various projects planned by the KUWS&DB in the last two years could not take off, the Minister said this was because of problems in land acquisition and poor response to tenders by contractors.

To deal with land acquisition problems and getting the required no-objection certificates from organisations such as Railways, Forest Department and National Highways, the Government would soon authorise the board to purchase land if required.

Responding to the board’s plea for recruitment of 90 assistant engineers as there was a shortage of engineers, the Minister said the recruitment process would be completed within three months.

As none of the 213 ULBs are ready to operate and maintain the completed water supply projects, the Government would soon form a maintenance cell in each ULB. KUWS&DB officials would be deployed in these cells to operate and maintain the projects, he added.

Mr. Kumar said the State Government would deduct the water dues that each urban local body (ULB) owed to KUWS&DB from the annual State Finance Commission (SFC) grants.

“There are 213 urban local bodies in the State and totally they owe Rs. 114 crore to KUWS&DB towards water charges. This amount includes an interest component of Rs. 75 crore. While a decision to waive the interest has been taken, the rest would be adjusted while releasing the SFC grants,” the Minister said.

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