Hasten to get land for UGD scheme: Sorake

Hasten to get land for UGD scheme: Sorake

 Minister for Urban Development Vinay Kumar Sorake has directed Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim to accelerate the land acquisition for the second phase of the ADB-assisted project.

“The project is aimed at supplying drinking water and underground drainage (UGD) systems to uncovered areas that come under Mangaluru City Corporation administration limits,” said Sorake, addressing a meeting on Monday to review the progress of the development work initiated by the Corporation and other urban local bodies in Dakshina Kannada district.

The deputy commissioner explained that the work on land acquisition is pending at 18 places for installation of water supply systems and at 29 places for laying of underground drains. Once the land acquisition work is completed, a detailed project report (DPR) can be prepared, said the official, adding, “The second phase of the ADB-assisted project includes all the uncovered areas in Mangaluru, including the links missing in the first phase of the project.”

Thumbay vented dam
Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB) managing director Manivannan said that Rs 54 crore has already been utilised for the construction of the second vented dam at Thumbay. The civil works of the dam will be completed by May, the officer added.

Legislator J R Lobo, who spoke on the topic, said that although the vented dam was built at a height of seven metres, it water storage capacity would remain at four metres, as the land that has submerged because of increase in height has not been acquired.
He also instructed the officials of the KUWSDB to provide a technical report that estimated the additional water that could be stored if rivulets joining the river had smaller vented dams.

Sorake, in turn, directed the Corporation officials and the District In-charge Minister to take a decision on the amount of water that would be stored in the new dam.

Illegal connections
Leader of the Opposition in the Council of City Corporation Sudheer Shetty said that illegal tapping of drinking water from the pipelines between Thumbay and Adyar continues. “Although two MGD-capacity water supply line has been handed over to the Zilla Panchayat, the responsibility of maintenance remains with the Corporation. With the illegal connections, the Corporation is losing revenue,” complained Shetty.

Sorake, who responded to the statement, directed the Corporation Commissioner to take strict action against illegal water connections.

The deputy commissioner instructed the authorities concerned to speed up the work on the underground drainage work at Bantwal. “The quality of the drinking water to Mangaluru City should be kept in mind. Delay in completion of the drainage work and the provision of UGD and sewage treatment plant (STP) in Bantwal will lead to all the waste water being let into the river,” he explained.

Land for STP
Manivannan said that the UGD works at Ullal City Municipal Council limits has been completed at an estimated cost of Rs 18 crore. Without the STP, however, the UGD is of no use. If the authorities hand over the site for the setting up of the STP, then the work will be taken up immediately, he added.

In response, the Ullal City Municipal chief officer said that the issue pertaining to a site identified for the STP was in court.

Sorake advised the officer to ensure the problem was solved amicably and that the site was handed over to the KUWSDB.

Poor progress
The Minister, however, expressed displeasure at the poor utilisation of funds released under SFC grant, the 13th Finance Commission and the Nagarothana schemes by the urban local bodies – including the Mangaluru City Corporation. “The progress of works under the SFC grant and the 13th and 14th Finance commissions is only 28 per cent at Sullia Town Panchayat. The fund should be utilised effectively,” instructed Sorake.

The Minister also directed all the local bodies and the Corporation to accelerate the tax collection process and also to mobilise resources by assessing the non-assessed properties in their respective jurisdiction areas.