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Mar 25, 2009

Water connections Beyond limits !

While municipalities and town panchayats in the city’s periphery lament inadequate allocation of drinking water under the Siruvani scheme, the local bodies seem to have got themselves into trouble by giving a number of water connections that outstrip the availability of water.

Sources in the local bodies say there has been a lot of pressure on them to release water connections as many houses have come up in the periphery over the last five years. But, the quantum of water supplied to them has remained unchanged.

“Almost all the local bodies around the city’s border have resorted to cut in supply of drinking water. The gap between two supplies has widened anywhere between one week and 15 days, and this has to be attributed to indiscriminate release of water connections,” alleges Coimbatore Consumer Cause secretary K. Kathirmathiyon.

A source in the Vadavalli town panchayat, west of the city, says the town has 7,000 water connections. As per norms, town panchayats are supposed to provide 90 litres per capita per day (lpcd). But, Vadavalli gets only 70 lpcd on an average.The source says 28 lakh litres are needed to provide even 70 lpcd every day. But, the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board has fixed a quota of only 7.65 lakh litres for the town panchayat.

The present lpcd figure for this town is on an average, calculated on the basis of the supply made once a week. Water board norms say each connection in town panchayats should be given 450 litres of water (see table). Then, Vadavalli should have only 1,700 connections. But, it has 7,000 connections. More than 5,500 connections are taking away what should have been a comfortable quota for the permitted number of connections.

“This is the case with all the local bodies,” says Mr. Kathirmathiyon, who had opposed a circular of the Government that water connections can be released on demand so that local bodies can make revenue out of these. The other focus of the local bodies was goodwill among the people.
Three municipalities in the suburbs that have have provided 3,000 to 5,000 connections more than the permissible limit.

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