Contaminated water supply in city echoes Assembly

Hardships being faced by denizens due to irregular and insufficient drinking water supply besides contamination of water due to leakage of pipe lines posing severe health hazards in the city, echoed the Telangana Assembly on Thursday.

Replying to the concerns raised by the members, especially the MIM members, during question hour in the House, Minister for Municipal Administration K. T. Rama Rao said the State government was committed to ensure that sufficient and quality drinking water was supplied to the citizens at all times. KTR reminded the members that after TRS taking the reins of the administration in the State, the city had witnessed major development and improvement in power supply, water supply and law and order situation. This was acknowledged by the people by electing a majority of the TRS members to the GHMC, he observed.

Regarding preventive steps being taken up to contain water contamination due to damaged and defective pipelines, a study was undertaken during 2009-10 and identified 991 km length of pipelines that needed to be replaced at a cost of Rs 1,152 crore. Out of this, 476 km length pipelines have been replaced between 2009 and 14. He further explained that during 2013-14, further study was taken up and identified an additional 819 km length of old and defective pipe lines for replacement totaling 1,134 km covering the entire GHMC area. About 178 km of pipe lines have been replaced in vulnerable stretches during 2013-14 to 2015-16. The remaining length of pipeline is about 1,156 km. Of this, the most leak-prone pipes of AC, PVC, HDPE, GI pipes of about 691 km exist in the peripheral circles and are under replacement with HUDCO assistance. The remaining length of 465 km of pipe lines costing about Rs 502 crore is yet to be replaced. However, the critical and vulnerable stretches are regularly being replaced with available funds, he added.

The Minister also pointed out that Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board was being provided with regular budget allocations for replacement of old or defective pipe lines to prevent contamination of drinking water. Wherever contamination of water supply due to old or leakage of pipe lines are identified, the supply is cut off for replacement and in the meantime drinking water is being supplied through tankers, he added.

Earlier, MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi pointed out that Hyderabad, especially the old city, was getting neglected in the matter of drinking water supply. He reminded that the pipelines that were laid before the erstwhile Nizam regime were still under existence which was leading to leakages, damages frequently. This was causing contamination which in return was posing severe health problems to people. He also protested over the action in stopping drinking water supply from Himayathsagar and Osmansagar reservoirs to the old city. He stressed the need for immediately bringing water to the Himayathsagar by taking up phase IV Krishna water scheme.

BJP leader G. Laxman pointed out that there was a big gap between demand and supply of drinking water in the city. The water supply in varying times in different localities was also causing problems to the people. He wanted a comprehensive plan for the complete replacement of old and damaged pipelines.

Not satisfied with the minister’s assurance that the government was determined to provide sufficient and quality water to the citizens, the MIM members led by Akbaruddin were on their legs protesting against insufficient replies from the government and wanted to bring more issues facing the citizens. However, the Speaker did not allow the MIM members and proceeded to take up the next question.

The MIM members stood up in their places and loudly protested and wanted the Minister to listen to their pleas. In a rare gesture, KTR walked up to the seat of Owaisi and pacified him to resume his seat and that the matter could be discussed again in a different form. The Speaker said he would allow a short discussion on the subject if the members so desired. (NSS)