Udupi (The Hindu): The issues of drinking water and felling of old trees dominated the general body meeting of the Udupi City Municipal Council (CMC) here on Tuesday. Raising the issue, Mahesh Thakur, councillor, said that many houses in Ishwar Nagar were not getting drinking water. P. Yuvaraj, councillor, said that some areas in Puttur and Ashok Nagar too were facing water scarcity.
Yashpal Suvarna, councillor, said that some areas in all 35 municipal wards were facing water scarcity. The CMC staff should take the local councillors into confidence before water is supplied by tankers in their wards, he said.
K. Raghavendra, CMC environmental engineer, said that houses facing water scarcity in Padukere, Bannanje Scheduled Castes Colony, Gopalpura, Ambalpady, and Chaya Nagar, had been provided with proper water supply.
But there were some houses in higher areas where water was not reaching. The CMC had no other alternative but to supply water by tankers there. Besides, any power disruption at the water pumping station at Baje dam had a cascading effect on water supply. The city has 850-km-long water pipelines.
Once the water in these pipelines got emptied, it required a long time to fill it. It had also been observed that the maximum amount of water was used between 6 a.m. and 9.30 a.m., Mr. Raghavendra said.
Narsimha Nayak, councillor, said that the Forest Department could cut off branches of many big trees and prevent the trees from getting uprooted. He had consistently been asking the CMC to cut off large branches of a tree near the Syndicate Bank in Manipal, he said. Mr. Suvarna said that the personnel of Forest Department were interested in felling trees which were commercially viable and not others.
The Range Forest Officer Cliffard Lobo, said that if the councillors give him the list of trees to be felled, he would clear it in a day and send it for ratification to the Deputy Conservator of Forests office and it would take about 10 days there. Once the nod was received, the felling of trees on the verge of falling could be taken up, he said.
Earlier, the Opposition BJP councillors demanded an apology from CMC Commissioner D. Manjunathaiah for insulting the Leader of the Opposition M.R. Pai in the council meeting two months ago. After arguments between the ruling Congress and Opposition benches, Mr. Manjunathaiah apologised.
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