Hyderabad: 20k litre free water a pipe dream for many

Over 5 lakh yet to fix meter with Aadhaar link for free water
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Over 5 lakh yet to fix meter with Aadhaar link for free water 

Highlights

  • Denizes in areas where there is no water supply infrastructure like pipelines are worried over getting the benefit, even after installing metres
  • Of around 10 lakh consumers, only 4 lakh connections get free supply. To avail of the scheme, at least six to eight lakh consumers need to install metres by March 31

Hyderabad: City denizens have expressed disappointment over the terms and conditions set by HMWSSB, such as compulsory installation of water metres, to avail of the 20,000-litre free water supply. As most city areas are yet to get proper infrastructure, such as pipelines, people are wondering how the government would even provide the supply, even if metres are installed.

"The Telangana government has set a deadline of March 31, 2021, for people to install water metres to avail of the 20,000 litre free water scheme. Adding to it is the mandatory linking of Aadhaar. This will deprive several houseowners in city of the scheme. It's disappointing," said P Sathyagnanam, a resident of BSNL Colony.

K Manoj of Alkapur township, Manikonda, said: "For years we have been waiting for a proper water supply. We are actually depending on water tankers, which costs Rs 500 each, rather than taps. We don't have a single connection in our township, with 20,000 houses and close to 5,400 assessments including flats and independent houses. We don't have the infrastructure and completely depend on water tankers. We are afraid we may not the scheme benefit, as entire 20 colonies in Manikonda municipality lack metre connections."

"We request the Telangana government to provide water pipelines before declaring compulsory metre installation and other terms and conditions" added Manoj.

On an average, around 2.5 lakh water consumers have metre connections in City. Two lakh connections are in slums. Overall, of the 10 lakh consumers, an average of only four lakh connections get free supply. To avail themselves of the benefit, at least six to eight lakh consumers need to install water metres.

"Metre installation costs an average of Rs 1,300 to Rs 1,500. Additional fitting charge is Rs 500. This is a burden on the common man after the pandemic. We don't think there is an utmost need to put this burden on common man. As it is, water is supplied on alternate days in some areas and once in two to three days in a few areas," says M Srinivas, CPM city secretary.

"We strongly believe that, the concept of installing metres is just to privatise water supply, because until residents install metres and link them with Aadhar Cards, they can't create data and they cannot prioritise," he added.

Installing mainline metres in slums, where the board provides free water supply, is also another major problem coming in the way of scheme implementation.

Moreover, mainline meters are being installed in the slums to monitor water supply. If the government calculate water supply for the slums and decreases to 20,000 litre supply against the free unlimited free water supply, it will be a highly disappointing move for the residents in the slums.

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