KARNATAKA

HDMC to bear expenses for 24 x 7 water supply project

Government apathy:The former Mayor Viranna Savadi, speaking at the municipal council meeting in Hubballion Saturday, pointed out the apathy of the Stategovernment in choosing an appropriate agencyto implement the water supply project.KIRAN BAKALE  

In the wake of confusion regarding Hubballi Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) getting World Bank funds for extension of the round-the-clock water supply project, the municipal council on Saturday resolved to take the extension work by mobilising its own resources.

After a prolonged discussion on the issue, the monthly municipal council meeting resolved to take up the extension of 24 x 7 water supply project (to 41 wards) with its own resources and also seek special grants from the State government for the purpose. HDMC has 67 wards and 26 wards are covered under the 24 x 7 water supply project.

After the discussion, Mayor Sudhir Saraf instructed the municipal commissioner to write to the State government seeking permission to utilise Rs. 40 crore which HDMC had pledged as its share in the World Bank-assisted project for extension of the round-the-clock water supply project.

Raising the issue through a calling attention motion, the former Mayor and BJP councillor Viranna Savadi said that because of the apathy of the State government in choosing an appropriate agency to implement the project, funding from the World Bank had been diverted to other projects in Belagavi and Kalaburagi.

He said that the HDMC should implement the project from its own resources. And, since the project would be delayed further, Rs. 40 crore deposited by the HDMC as its share for the project, should be withdrawn and utilised for its implementation, he said.

Concurring with Mr. Savadi, Congress councillor Ganesh Tagargunti urged the council to seek special grant of Rs. 250 crore for the project from the State government as Rs. 40 crore would not be sufficient for the project.

However, BJP councillor and the former Mayor Pandurang Patil disagreed with their line of argument and said that the municipal corporation did not have the required resources to take up the project.

He said that the state government should rectify its mistake and take remedial measures to get it going, and councillors cutting across party lines should prevail upon the State government to implement the 24 x 7 water supply project in all the wards in the twin cities.

MLC Srinivas Mane, who joined the discussion, later felt that the State government might not extend monetary help as it had already made commitments for various projects.

He, however, suggested taking financial assistance and pay loan instalments over a period of 15-20 years instead of looking up to the government for funds. Ultimately, the discussion ended with the council resolving to take up the project with its own resources.