Thirsty? Wait till polls end

BBMP: Poll code hinders Palikes service initiative

Thirsty? Wait till polls end

Despite 50 water kiosks being installed out of the promised number, there is no water in any of them.  The model code of conduct in place for the approaching BBMP polls has put the brakes on the project for a second time.

These sleek, blue kiosks each of a 1,000-litre capacity costs the BBMP Rs 50,000 a piece. They are presently installed in crowded spots in Gandhi Nagar, Chamarajpet, Rajajinagar, Mahalakshmipuram and Malleswaram constituencies in the zone. Talks had been held with packaged water companies in the City to supply 1,000 litres per day for each kiosk.

“A litre of water has been priced for BBMP at just 30 paise. This would cost us Rs 300 per day for a kiosk and it was purely a welfare measure for the public,” said a top BBMP official of the Malleswaram office.
 
The project, initiated by BBMP in November 2009 was to become operational by January-end this year, well before the harsh summer commenced in the City.

Model code of conduct

The local polls were earlier announced for February 21 initially and the poll code became operational from January 15.  “We were forced to shelve it temporarily after receiving letters of objection from people at the behest of various political parties,” the official said. 

Later the State Election Commission cancelled the civic poll timetable after the Supreme Court vacated its stay on a High Court order relating to the polls. Work in connection with the kiosks project commenced after that, the official said.

The Karnataka High Court had ordered earlier this month that the poll had to be conducted by March 30.  “The model code of conduct is again in place from March 7 to April 6 and we can supply water to the kiosks only after that period,” he added.

Refusing to elaborate on the reasons for the delay, another top BBMP official said water will be supplied simultaneously in all the 115 kiosks after all of them are installed.

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