Mangalore, Sep 24, 2014: “Malavoor rural water supply scheme stands as a testimony to how a good project could be deliberately delayed owing to the political rivalry and administrative apathy,” said Prof S G Mayya, Professor of department of Applied Mechanics and Hydraulics at NITK, Surathkal. He was the water resource engineer of the NITK team which was the consultant for the scheme way back in 2003, when the project was conceived.
Delivering a talk on the experiences of theMalavoor rural water supply scheme/ project, organised by the Institution of Engineers Mangalore local centre, Institution of Valuers Mangalore branch and Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Engineers Association here on September 23, Prof S G Mayya, Professor of department of Applied Mechanics and Hydraulics at NITK, Surathkal stated that the scheme stands as a testimony as to how a good project could be deliberately delayed owing to the political rivalry and administrative apathy. He was critical of the political system due to which he had to face the brickbats for delaying the project which was designed to be completed by 2005.
The Scheme : The Malavoor rural water supply scheme was designed to supply drinking water to 11 villages in and around Bajpe by constructing a vented dam across Gurupur river at Malavoor. The scheme under RajivGandhi National Drinking Water Mission (RGNDWM) envisaged in 2003, was designed in such a novel manner that the 90 per cent of the project cost would be borne by the Centre and the rest through community participation, Prof Mayya added.
Estimated cost : The estimate of the project in 2003 was Rs 14.55 crore including construction of the dam and water treatment plant. But even after 11 years, the project remains incomplete with the dam constructed at a cost of Rs 20 crore in 2013 and an additional of Rs 24.5 crore sanctioned for the construction of water treatment plant and water distribution network, Prof Mayya said.
He then went on to reason that as former Surathkal MLA Vijaykumar Shetty had been the man behind the project, his rival political parties had shown least interest in the project and MLA Shetty had to face opposition from leaders of his own party. Coupled with this was the apathy of officials of Panchayat Raj Engineering division and Irrigation department, Mayya said. He recounted the trivial queries raised by the officials over the intrusion of salt water, though the National Institute of Technology-Karnataka team had made it clear that there was hardly any possibility for the same.
Current status : Mayya said at present, the work on construction of the water treatment plant and the streamlining of the existing water distribution network is pending. "It will take two more years for the project to materialise. The tender process for the pending works are in the final stage," he said. He recalled that according to the cost sharing agreement, Rs 92 lakh was collected from the beneficiary villages, including a Rs 50 lakh from Mangalore City Corporation in 2003. What is the out come to be is still a question.