16 years on, Bethri project yet to see light of day

The project supposed to ease shortage of drinking water in Virajpet

16 years on, Bethri project yet to see light of day

apathy: Cauvery stream in Bethri village near Virajpet.

The Bethri drinking water project was undertaken at an estimated cost of Rs 4.90 crore with the assistance from the Central Government in 1997. The project was completed in 2001.

However, owing to the technical problem in the beginning of the project and due to poor quality of work, the citizens are still reeling under water crisis. On the one hand, water project has been failed. On the other, no water is available in spite of digging borewells, say villagers.

Uner the project, Virajpet town panchayat had constructed a base water unit on the side of stream Cauvery in Bethri. The unit has two generators of 60 kv capacity each. To avoid silt deposit, two filter concrete bed have been constructed. Inspite of the completion of the project, the work was not undertaken scientifically. Owing to the technical problem, water could not be supplied to the citizens. Accordingly, the citizens are still dependent on tanker to get water. Town Panchayat has to spend Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000 to supply water daily through tankers.

According to officials in Town Panchayat, when the drinking water project was undertaken, town panchayat was not taken into consideration. Panchayat was not given any details on the project. In this regard, a case had been filed with the Civic Administration Directorate in 2001. Majority of the funds have been misused. The work is of poor quality. Lokayukta must conduct an enquiry into the poor quality of the work, said the Town Panchayat in its complaint.

As per the documents of the Town Panchayat, there are 4,200 houses while 1,600 houses have taken water connection. Remaining houses depend on open well and borewell for drinking water.

If all the families go for water connection, is it possible to supply water is a big question. Hoping that the water can be supplied from the Cauvery stream, Panchayat had built 2 lakh gallon capacity water storage tank at Malethirike betta, Arasunagara, Nehru Nagara and Pravasi mandira. The tanks never became full to supply water to the citizens.

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