Udayavni Special

Water price war echoes again in Mangaluru City Corp general meeting


Team Udayavani, Aug 28, 2021, 8:51 AM IST

Mangaluru: Opposition members of the Mangaluru City Corporation raised objections to the non-implementation of the decision taken at the meeting last year on reducing drinking water rates within Corporation limits.

Corporator Abdul Rauf, who raised the issue at the general meeting held on Friday under the presidentship of Mayor Premanand Shetty, said that he has repeatedly requested for a reduction in water prices within the Corporation limits but it is yet to be implemented.

“The public is facing several problems due to COVID-19 pandemic and water prices are becoming burdensome. We have also requested to waive off the water bill of the past 3 months,” he said.

In 2019, water rates were fixed at Rs 7 per thousand litres for the first 8,000 litres, Rs 9 per thousand litres for 8 to 15 thousand litres, Rs 11 per thousand litres for 15 to 25 thousand litres and Rs 13 per thousand litres for more than 25 litres along with a monthly rate of Rs 65.

During the previous mayor’s tenure, the monthly rate was fixed at Rs 60 and water rates were fixed at Rs 6 per thousand litres till 10,000 litres, Rs 7 per thousand litres for 10 to 15 thousand litres, Rs 9 per thousand litres for 15 to 20 thousand litres, Rs 11 per thousand litres for 20 to 30 thousand litres and Rs 13 per thousand litres for above 30,000 litres.

But these rates are yet to be implemented.

Corporation Commissioner Akshy Sridhar said that the resolution regarding the water rates has been sent to the State government who sent a letter in May stating that the order cannot be changed.

Corporator Praveen Chandra Alva said some parts of the city have not received water bills for the past four months which is causing a shortage of revenue to the corporation.

During the debate on the water rates, it was also decided to waive off the penalty fee in the water bills.

Corporator Jacintha Vijaya Alfred proposed that the Nehru Road that connects to the national highway near Gorigudda has been cut off for the past year.

The Commissioner responded to it by saying that there were many problems regarding the national highway and some were resolved adding that a meeting with officials would be held in the near future on the issue.

Corporator Jayanand Anchan said many roads in the city have been extended but are still not available to the public as street vendors illegally occupy them.

Expressing displeasure over the issue, Mayor Premanand Shetty directed TIGER operations to be conducted again and questioned the officer present why they were stopped.

The officer responded by saying that there was a shortage of materials for clearance operations. When the mayor asked why the matter had not been brought to his notice, the commissioner responded by saying that all materials are there now he should start the clearance operation soon.

Corporator Abdul Latif said that a hydraulic car parking lot is being constructed opposite Balambhat Hall under the Smart City project. But this was not known to the Corporation including the mayor.

A Smart City officer present responded that the building was demolished and the property sold and the tendered was issued twice with permission from the Corporation.

He added that the managing director of the Smart City company can give permission for the project as it is A PPP project under the Smart City project.

After this, there was an exchange of words between the corporators for some time. Mayor Shetty responded that the project requires the consent of Corporation members and the plan should be presented in the Corporation and sanctioned.

He asked the Smart City officer to stop all work there.

An August 27 report in “Udayavani Sudina” was also discussed in the meeting. The report was about network cables installed on power poles in different parts of the city were causing inconvenience to the public.

Corporator Sudhir Shetty Kannur said that network cables have been installed on power poles in the city and the company was notified to clear it several times adding that though the electricity poles are within the Corporation limits its income is received by MESCOM.

MESCOM officials responded by saying that they have made it mandatory for a no-objection certificate by Corporation for the installation of network cables on power poles.

Corporator Sangeetha Naik said that MESCOM was not responsible for shifting the power pole while carrying out various works and the mayor added that there are many problems concerned with MESCOM and a meeting will be held with MESCOM officials soon to resolve it.

Finally, corporator Bharat Kumar’s demand for university status for the College of Fisheries was addressed and it was decided to propose the issue to the government soon.

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