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3,000 illegal tap connections to be regularised in Chikmagalur

By Our Correspondent

CHIKMAGALUR, FEB. 28. The Chikmagalur City Municipal Council, in its general body meeting here on Friday, decided to regularise over 3,000 illegal tap connections.

The meeting was told that over half of the 15,000 tap connections in the city were illegal. It was decided to levy a water tax of Rs. 90 a month on 10,000 connections after excluding 5,000 connections being used by the poor.

The Commissioner of the CMC, Udayashankar, said the council was incurring Rs. 11 lakh a month on the supply of drinking water from the Yagachi Reservoir to the city, while the revenue earned from the levy of water tax stood at Rs. 2.5 lakh.

Shankar, a member of the Opposition, who raised the issue, said it should be made mandatory for all khata holders to have a tap connection. Jeremy Lobo suggested that sufficient time should be given to pay the deposit amount while regularising illegal connections.

He said those who utilised water from public taps should be charged Rs. 30 a month.

Pointing out that the CMC was spending Rs. 50 lakh on the maintenance of borewells, H.R. Mohan said drawing water from borewells should be gradually phased out.

An Assistant Executive Engineer of the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board clarified that borewell water was being supplied to extensions which were not being supplied water from the Yagachi Project.

J.B. Mahesh stressed the need to collect revenue, including water tax, promptly to improve the finances of the CMC.

Syed Jameel Ahmed, President of the CMC, told the meeting that the Deputy Commissioner had submitted a Rs. 70-lakh proposal to the Government to shift the express electric line from the "defunct" Honnammanahalla Project to the Yagachi Project.

The meeting decided to auction a portion of the pipeline of the Honnammanahalla Project. A decision was also taken to desilt the Hirakolale Tank, another source of drinking water to Chikmagalur, with the Rs. 22.52 lakh allocated under the eleventh Finance Plan.

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