Mangaluru: The ADB review meeting was held at the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) premises here, on April 19.
The project to supply water round the clock was sanctioned under the Karnataka Integrated Urban Water Management Investment Project (KIUWMIP) and the required funds were drawn as loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The first phase faced problems due to various reasons and hence problems were heard and suggestions were sought from the council members. Several suggestions were aired which included, building of tanks to store water when there was excess of water, proper documentation and treatment of the drainage water, building quality manholes, contracts to be given only to the companies that have a good track record, instead of supplying drinking water to industries treating the sea water and supplying it to the industries, repair of old pipelines, time-bound completion of projects, formation of a technical committee to inspect the construction work, restricting the flow of drainage water to the rivers etc.
Former Mayor, Mahabala Marla said, “Though Karnataka Urban Development and Coastal Environmental Management Project (KUDCEMP) was under the MCC, we observed that the MCC only did the job of signing cheques, while all the work was taken up by contractors. A proper Detailed Project Report (DPR) should be prepared and MCC officials should be included in it.”
Managing Director of KUDIFC, V Ponnuraj said that the DPR has not been finalised yet. He said, “We will take the suggestions of the corporators before the final DPR is passed. The project should not be dependent on a single person but should be institutionalized. A blueprint will be made at the city as well as the ward level and be handed over to the corporators for their suggestions.”
He further said, “If the demands cross the budget, then the corporators should decide the next step. The project is very ambitious and the aim will be to have 100% of the plans implemented. The DPR will be prepared by a team of health officers, JE’s, consultants and a PMU and will include the difficulties in mapping too. This will help the contractor to give an informed quote before filing the tender.”
Ponnuraj said, “A standing committee should be formed by the Mayor to prepare, plans, finalise, implement and complete the project. This will ensure the involvement of the MCC in the entire project. Consultants should only be an asset to us and not replace the work of the officials.”
“The facilities in Mangaluru are not of the world standard but they are of course better than many other places. The output we have may not be in parity with the investment due to many missing links. We are procuring loan for the second time from ADB as it is required for development. Mangaluru requires 160 MLD of water and we have the required amount of water. If we complete the missing links, then Mangaluru will have 24×7 water supply,” he said.
Ponnuraj further said, “Round the clock water supply should not be for a period of just a year, but should be for 5 years and may be a permanent system. The maintenance should be taken care by the contractors. I will also visit the spots in the district.”
MLA JR Lobo said, “30-40% of the 160 MLD of water is lost due to many reasons. We need to calculate our expenses and be judicious. Profits can be made in water supply without increasing the tariffs. MCC officials should tour the places where there is successful implementation of 24×7 water supply and learn their methods. Mayor should visit various wards, evaluate the situation and seek the suggestions along with the signatures of consultants and corporators. We should not worry about the debt, but instead should concentrate on solving the problems.”
“Recheck the manholes and repair them to address the problem of infiltration. Concrete roads shouldn’t be cut for any developmental purpose as the public opinion is against it,” said Lobo.
Mayor Harinath said, “Previously, plastering was not done from inside while constructing the manholes hence there is seepage. We also need a squad of drainage engineers.”
Deputy Mayor, Sumithra Kariya, MCC Commissioner Dr HN Gopalkrishna and others were also present.