Acknowledging the severe water crisis in the district, chairman of the Third State Finance Commission Implementation Task Force, A G Kodgi attributed the escalating problem to inefficient water distribution in the district. “It is a difficult period for drinking water,” he said.
On of the important observations of the task force is that a majority of water connections in rural areas in the district did not have a water meter. Member of the committee, Thimmegowda said that only five per cent of the water connections in rural areas of the district was fitted with water meters.
“The local bodies have been lethargic in their work and have not taken installing water meters seriously. There is also a role of vested interests for not installing water meters to water connections,” he said.
He said that the committee would put forth recommendations to compulsorily install the meters and collect water taxes within a set deadline. Installation of the meters for all connections might take years to complete.
Different tariff scales for domestic and other uses should also be introduced in rural areas to prevent the wastage of water and as a step towards efficient water management, Kodgi said.
Speaking on the deteriorating water condition he suggested that an emergency action plan has to be drawn up by the district.
Bore wells no solution
Stating that digging more bore wells was not a solution to the drinking water problem, Kodgi said that district administration should strive towards completing the multi village drinking water schemes.
Since ground water levels have taken a hit due to over exploitation, using surface water for domestic purposes would aid the rejuvenation of ground water sources, he said.
Poor water cess collection
Statistics provided by zilla panchayat reveals a dismal trend in the collection of water cess. Only 45.74 per cent of the water cess was collected in 2009-10, with the percentage marginally increasing to 48.07 per cent for the year 2010-11 and 53.64 per cent for 2011-12.