'Collect pending water bills strictly'

'Collect pending water bills strictly'

Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) Commissioner Maj (retd) Siddhalingayya Hiremath instructed the Karnataka Urban Water Supply & Drainage Board (KUWSDB) officials to take strict action to collect Rs 90.18 crore pending water bills which are due since August 2011.

Speaking at a meeting on water supply management here on Saturday, he lamented that the Water Board is not collecting even 40% of the total water bills.

For nonpayment of water bills, water supply should be disconnected. Smart meters should be installed for water connections to hotels, industries, and other commercial establishments, he directed.

Steps would be taken to supply drinking water once in a week in Hubballi, and once in five days in Dharwad. The Water Board officials should ensure that there would not be any changes in the days of water supply. The public should be informed about the area, day and duration of water supply, Mr Hiremath said.

When Deputy Mayor Laxmibai Bijwad lamented that water is being supplied in Unkal area at 2:00 am, Mr Hiremath asked the Water Board officials to supply water before 11:00 pm in any area.

KUWSDB Chief Engineer Siddhanayak noted that the public accounts committee has asked to make the concerned oficials responsible for failure in collecting pending water bills.

However, Mayor D K Chavan, Corporators Altaf Nawaz M Kittur and Shivu Menasinkai stated that pending water bills should not be collected intensively, when the government is yet to take a decision on the proposal to waive off pending water bills.

Without proper water supply, bills of lakhs of rupees have been issued to some consumers, and this would be a burden, they added.

Mr Hiremath also warned that the government would be recommended to take disciplinary action against such officials of the Water Board who would skip the HDMC's general body meetings.

HDMC Additional Commissioner A R Desai, KUWSDB Executive Engineers Rajagopal and Kariyappa, and others were present.

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