Ruckus at Udupi CMC meeting over water shortage in town

Ruckus at Udupi CMC meeting over water shortage in town

The issue pertaining to the shortage of water created ruckus at the general body meeting of the City Municipal Council (CMC) here on Saturday.

Irrespective of political affiliations, the members unanimously echoed their grievances against the burning issue which has created a major problem in the area.

Raising the issue, Ambalapadi Councilor Vasanthi Shetty said that her ward has been deprived of drinking water for the past two months. The disruption in water supply is due to the cutting of pipelines for the construction of the national highway. She said that the construction process has been creating problems.

The available water is also not reaching the public due to disconnection of the pipelines, she said. The majority of the population in the area belongs to the labour class. They will not be present to collect when the tanker water is supplied, she added.

The other members, including Shyamprasad Kudva and Dinaker Shetty, also expressed their helplessness in the situation.

They said the water level is depleting day by day and the elevated areas have not been receiving water due to the low pressure in pumping the water.

Former president Yuvaraj and others urged that rain water harvesting measures should be adopted. Desilting should be taken up in both Shiroor and Baje reservoirs, they said. The members also opined that the available water bodies like defunct borewells and wells should be recharged and utilised appropriately.

CMC Commissioner Manjunathayya said that in temporary pipe lines have been connected in Amabalpadi. There is a need for a 700-metre pipeline.

Funds have already been earmarked and the work would commence once the national highway construction is completed, he said. There is no need to call for tenders for emergency water projects. President Meenakshi Bannanje said that she will visit both the reservoirs and take necessary measures.

Fee hike

The other issue that resulted in the exchange of heated arguments was the hike in the trade license fee. Amritha Krishnamurthy said the hike is totally is unjust. The commissioner said that the deputy commissioner, who is the administrative officer of the body, had directed that the trade license fee be hiked.

The trade license fee should be hiked every three years. However, it has not been done in Udupi CMC since 1987, while all other local urban bodies in the district have hiked the fee, he explained.

Members Naveen Bhandari and Yashpal Suvarna said that nearly 70% of the traders belong to the middle class. The deputy commissioner has no right to revise the license fee and the hike should be withdrawn, they demanded. Shetty said that there are other ways to enhance the financial resources. 

Following the objection from the members, the council decided to look into the issue and take a decision in the matter.

Solid waste management

The members also raised their voices against the improper solid waste management. Environment officer Raghavendra said that an elaborate plan is being drawn up for the effective implementation of solid waste management.

Five wards have been chosen on an experimental basis, he said. Plans are also being chalked to impose fines on people who dump the garbage on roads. He said it will take some time to fine tune the system.

There are 21 vehicles used to collect garbage from 8,500 flats in 394 apartments, 590 large commercials establishments, 6,500 smaller commercial buildings and 20,900 houses in the city, Raghavendra said.

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