The Mysore City Corporation (MCC) today took to task the officials of Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Company (JUSCO) at a meeting and imposed a penalty of Rs. 7 crore for various lapses in the 24X7 water supply project to the city.

As per the tri-partite agreement made by Karnataka State Urban Water Supply & Sewerage Board (KUWSSB) with MCC and JUSCO, JUSCO was supposed to provide 24x7 water supply to city in six years. It is a six-year Performance Based Management Contract signed on Nov. 28, 2008.

The entire project is worth Rs. 194 crore, of which JUSCO will be paid Rs. 131 crore and the rest will be paid to Nagarjuna Constructions Ltd. which constructed overhead water tanks and related works.

Out of the Rs. 61 crore paid to JUSCO so far, Rs. 2 crore has been withheld as penalty while the remaining Rs. 5 crore will be recovered subsequently, said the officials.

Heated arguments ensued in today’s meeting held at the MCC Commissioner’s office, chaired by Deputy Commissioner Dr. K.S. Ramegowda. The DC took strong exception over the way of functioning of JUSCO, not meeting the target and not being able to provide services as per the agreement, since the past four years. He also warned of imposing penalty for the lapses.

KUWSSB Executive Engineer Subbe Gowda read out a list of allegations against the JUSCO, pointing out their shortfalls. “Out of the 1,74,000 water tap connections to be provided in city, only 9,000 have been made, which is barely 30% of the target,” he said and added that 24x7 water was being provided only to two wards – Ward. No. 5 and 36, Saraswathipuram area.

“We are spending crores of rupees on water purification. But the JUSCO officials are wasting precious water by not providing tap connections and meters,” he said and accused them of lack of supervision. He also accused the JUSCO officials of not collecting water taxes from the residents and not even issuing bills to the consumers. “The officials do not even attend meetings and when questioned, they point towards Jamshedpur (to their higher-ups at the company’s headquarters),” he said.

JUSCO in-charge for Mysore, Nandeesh said that his company was only supposed to provide 1,35,000 connections and not 1,74,000. “You people are making baseless allegations without studying the agreement fully, which is still open,” he argued and said that 24x7 water cannot be given now as many more taps are to be installed.

To this, the MCC Commisisoner P.G. Ramesh, who presided over the meeting after the DC’s departure, said, “Don’t try to give lame excuses and don’t try to mislead the officials. It is your duty to fix the taps, install meters and collect revenue.”

Later, it was decided to hold a meeting with JUSCO DGM on Saturday, Feb. 23 and on Feb. 27, convene a State-level technical committee meeting to discuss the water supply projects.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore