Nagpur: Lakafganj Zone of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is set to become tanker-free for supply of drinking water as Water Works Department has completed laying of water pipes in non-network areas. This was stated by Vijay Zalke, Chairman, Water Works Committee of the local bofy,
Zalke was briefing media persons after a meeting of Water Works Committee helf on Tuesday. He said that by the end of October, about 35 tankers that used to do 300 trips per day would be withdrawn and one by one the pipelines would be charged. Apart from having dense localities, the Zone also has big wholesale markets thereby the demand for water is quite high. The end to dependency on tankers would also ensure savings to cash starved civic body.
The Water Works Committee also took stock of Amrut Yojana wherein Central Government provided funds to streamline water distribution in city. In the scheme, 68 new elevated service reservoir (ESR) was proposed but they were delayed due to non-availability of land, disputes, local opposition. Now, work has started at 12 sites and at 16 more places the teething problems are being removed and construction is likely to being soon. To a question, Zalke said by end of financial year of the 30 ESRs that are in pipeline at least 16 would be completed.
House to decide on 5% rebate on water bills:
The Water Works Committee (WWC) has recommended waiver of 5 per cent water cess for the three month period of COVID-19 to provide relief to citizens. Zalke said the matter would be taken-up during the monthly meeting of general body and House is final authority on the issue. Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been advocating rebate to mitigate hardships to citizens.
Water bills’ recovery:
Despite Covid-19 pandemic, NMC was able to recover water tax in goof amount. Barring a minor dip, Nagpurians otherwise have been prompt and paid Rs 72.26 crore till end of September in water cess,” informed Vijay Zalke. The figure for same period during last year was Rs 72.96 crore and the slight difference in figures is due to fact that citizens are passing through tough times due to COVID-19 that has hit economic activity.
Similarly, civic manpower was drafted for various other works due to pandemic and hence the decline. However, old dues of Rs 195 crore are still a cause of concern for the civic body while the average bill for water supply is around Rs 150 crore. The Water Works Committee held its meeting on Tuesday and one major issue that was taxing NMC bill was recovery from bulk consumers, basically at group housing schemes or multi storeyed buildings in gated community. The committee after deliberation decided to segregate connections at such places so that group default is avoided. By issuing individual connection to each of the multi storeyed buildings, the civic body is trying to minimise default and reduce cause of friction, Zalke stated.
At present, NMC has total 3.30 lakh water consumers of which one lakh consumers have been brought under 24×7 water supply scheme. OCW has completed replacement of mandated 687 km of pipeline in city. Shweta Banerjee, Superintending Engineer, Water Works Department, was also present during the briefing.