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Abide by guidelines, water users told

By Our Staff Reporter

VIJAYAWADA, OCT.5. All domestic tap connection owners, having more than three `portions' on their premises, should install water meters, according to the Municipal Commissioner, V. Usharani.

Explaining the rule position at a press conference here on Tuesday, the Commissioner said buildings accommodating many families were using motors to draw water directly from the network of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation pipelines. Domestic tap connection owners were entitled to about 600 litres of water that flowed through a tap by gravity in one hour, but much larger quantity of water was being pumped out using powerful motors.

According to the Municipal Corporation Act, municipal water users residing in buildings with many portions had to abide by the guidelines framed by the Municipal Commissioner in drawing water from the water distribution network. The use of motors to pump water from domestic connections was illegal and owners of the taps were liable for prosecution, she said. She said there would always be water scarcity if motors were used to draw water without meters. Fixing of meters would result in proper utilisation of water.

Option given

The corporation was, therefore, offering tap owners the option of installing meters for regulation of drinking water supply, she said. Ms. Usharani said that there were 1.31 lakh property tax assessments in the city, but only 55,000 water connections. About 3,600 tap connection-owners using water for commercial purposes were asked to install meters till now. According to a survey conducted five years ago, meters should be installed for at least 13,000 tap connections.

Notices severed

Notices were given to only 500 domestic tap connection owners in the first phase. "Notices have been served only to very heavy users. Many were using VMC water for commercial purposes, but they were paying only Rs. 80 a month. The language used in the notice may sound harsh, but genuine cases would be exempted," she said. The Commissioner said in case of a meter breakdown, water users would be charged double the bill amount until the meter was repaired.

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