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Adequate allocation sought for water scheme maintenance

By Our Staff Reporter

MADURAI, SEPT.7. The Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board Worker's Federation, affiliated to the All India Trade Union Congress, has demanded adequate budgetary allocation for maintenance of drinking water schemes.

A meeting of the south zone district office-bearers, held here on Saturday, said more than implementing new water projects, it was important to maintain them.

Since the local bodies, to which the projects were handed over for maintenance, did not have adequate financial support or technical expertise, the federation said, amendments should be made to the TWAD Board Act on handing over the implementation of new projects and maintaining them.

The failure to create drainage facilities while executing drinking water projects was the major cause of degradation of public health and sanitation.

Hence, both drinking water and drainage schemes should be implemented simultaneously, it said.

The federation also wanted to treat wastewater for being used for other purposes other than drinking and cooking and appealed to the State and Central Governments to implement desalination projects.

It also urged the State Government to construct more checkdams across rivers to prevent flooding and fresh water draining into the sea.

Pointing out that Tamil Nadu was a "water-deficient" State, the federation asked the Government to have cordial relations with Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala to get excess water from them during the monsoon.

It also wanted steps to nationalise rivers, and to link rivers in the southern States.

The federation demanded that the vacancies in the ministerial, technical, accounts and audit wings of the TWAD Board be filled, as drinking water supply was an essential service.

Pointing to the public contribution made by the local body for implementation of drinking water schemes under the sectoral reforms project, the federation said the details of selection and implementation and accounts and audit reports should be transparent.

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