Telangana govt cutting off lifeline

Telangana govt cutting off lifeline
Highlights

Telangana Government Cutting off Lifeline. The Telangana government’s order to disconnect all the Public Stand Posts (PSP) or public taps across the state has been met with a lot of criticism.

The Telangana government’s order to disconnect all the Public Stand Posts (PSP) or public taps across the state has been met with a lot of criticism. Citing high rate of wastage of precious water and escalating cost of its maintenance as the main reasons, Telangana Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) department decided to disband the public drinking water supply system through PSPs in all 53 municipalities and four municipal corporations- Greater Hyderabad, Warangal, Nizamabad and Khammam with immediate effect.

Many slum dwellers are perplexed that the government, which on one side is planning development across the state, is now snatching away basic amenities of the under privileged. They were also clueless on the move until reporters from The Hyderabad Hans informed them.

According to statistics with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), there are 1,476 slums in 24 constituencies in the city. 13.48 per cent of the total population are slum dwellers and belong to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) segment. A large section of these slum dwellers have no access to government water supply.

Most of them are forced to depend on public taps or borewells to meet their water needs. Majority of the areas received water once in five or seven days. The problem is further compounded as water yield in most of the borewells has gone down and public taps have broken pipes. Moreover, the ratio of taps is disproportionate to the number of inhabitants, thus forcing the dwellers to wait for long hours in serpentine queues to fill just a pot of water.

The government has cited that as an alternative to overcome the water problem, users have been asked to get individual tap connection in their houses at the cost of Rs 200 each as against the normal charge of Rs 3,000. The new connection holders should also pay nominal user charges every month depending on the quantum of water they use. There are 3,000 public taps catering to seven lakh households in the city. So far the government has severed 60 per cent of the taps and the disconnection of the rest is on at a steady pace. This process is set to be completed in about a year.

Public taps are the only source of water for slums and these lifelines are now being cut off. The system gained prominence during the Nizam’s era in early 1900s when the rulers introduced it in the city. Consequently, the successive governments also adopted the scheme. While 80 per cent of public taps are set up in slums, how far is it legit to de-root them? This is what the city has to say on the move.

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