BJP & Congress Corporators Raise Voices Related to Water Shortage & Flash Floods
Mangaluru: Corporators from the ruling BJP and Congress in the opposition, raised issues related to the recent flash floods, and damage caused to several houses in the city, at a monthly general council meeting of the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) on Saturday, 6 August 2022.
Corporators from the ruling and Opposition parties lamented over non-resolution of the drinking water supply problem in some wards in the city. At the start of the council meeting chaired by Mayor Premanand Shetty here, Samshuddin and Zeenath Samshuddin, councillors from Kudroli and Bunder wards, rushed to the well of the house with placards. The two carried out a silent demonstration demanding resolution of the drinking water supply problem in their wards.
When the Mayor asked the two to speak on the issue, Samshuddin said despite raising the water supply problem in their ward for two years, officials have failed to address it. Ms. Zeenath too alleged that officials had failed to properly address the water supply issue of her ward. BJP Corporator Jagadish Boloor said some parts of Boloor ward were not receiving drinking water. Even Chief Whip Sudheer Shetty Kannur said most of the residents of Vivekanagar in Kodailbail ward in the central part of the city had not received a single drop of water for the last one month.
While assuring of early resolution of the problem in Bunder and Kudroli wards, Mayor Shetty said the KUIDFC, which has taken up the work of extending the water supply network in the city, would resolve water supply issues. An MCC official said the problem in Boloor was a recent one and efforts were being made to identify the source of leakage.
While welcoming the recent decision of the State government to notify reduction in the water tariff and provide 20,000 litres of water at Rs 100, senior Congress corporatorShashidhar Hegde said the decision was taken just ahead of the Assembly elections. “We have been demanding reduction for the last two years. We can understand why the notification has been made now.” Another Congress councillor, Praveenchandra Alva, said this was nothing but an election gimmick by the BJP government. Replying, the Mayor said “The revised water tariff had come into effect from 1 August 2022. The revised tariff would be in force for one year and then the MCC had to take approval of the State government for a new water tariff”.
Corporator Praveenchandra Alva also brought to the notice of the council, about the lack of service roads that are parallel to national highways, and streetlights on the NH stretches in the city, especially on the Pumpwell flyover. NHAI officials said that streetlights will be installed within 15 days. Corporator Kiran Kumar from the BJP, demanded a permanent solution to prevent flooding of roads at Kottara Chowki and other parts of the city. He suggested that the city corporation needs to strengthen the walls of rajakaluves (stormwater drains).
BJP Corporator Kannur said residents of Kannur were facing flooding problems because of the poorly designed railway underpass. The underpass needs to be redesigned with the help of experts. Corporator Kiran Kumar also said residents of Kottara should be compensated for the artificial flooding in the area. Following complaints from corporators, MCC commissioner Akshy Sridhar directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials to conduct a joint inspection along with MCC engineers, and experts from the National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK), to find a solution to the flooding caused on NH-75, at Kannur, on the outskirts of the city.
Corporators Chandravathi and Sudheer Shetty from the BJP, brought to the notice of the chair, that rain for an hour had inundated the highway at Kannur. Several houses were damaged, after water entered, due to flash floods. Meanwhile, the national highway and a hospital in the ward also witnessed flooding. “A permanent solution needs to be found to the issue immediately,” Chandravathi said.
She added that about 30 houses have been affected due to floods in Kannur. She sought compensation of Rs 50,000, for each of the houses that were affected by flooding in the ward. Officials said that eight houses have been fully damaged (category A), 31 houses have been severely damaged (category B) and 60 houses have been partially damaged (category C), due to rain in the city.
Mayor Premananda Shetty said that the unscientific construction of cross culverts has aggravated floods. The commissioner directed the NHAI officials to seek a technical opinion on resolving the issue. Regarding the e-khata issue, Congress corporator Abdul Ravoof pointed out that people are inconvenienced due to delay in the issue of e-khata for properties. In response, the mayor said that the process of e-khata distribution was affected due to server error, for the last 15 to 20 days.
The issue was discussed with district-in-charge Secretary V Ponnuraj, at a meeting recently, he said. MCC Commissioner Akshy Sridhar said that a new software for e-khata, which is being introduced on a pilot basis in Mangaluru, is in its trial run phase. Once it is launched, the process will be made easy, he added.