98 sarpanchs of Mahisagar issued notices for drawing water illegally

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In a surprise move, Mahisagar District Development Officer (DDO) has issued notices to 98 village sarpanchs (elected wing head) and Talati’s (Executive wing head) for drawing drinking water illegally from Gujarat Water Supply Sewerage Board GWSSB) or Water and Sanitation Management Organization’s (WASMO) main supply lines.

This is the first time that government officers or elected wing heads have been issued notices for drawing water illegally.

Confirming about the notices, DDO, K.D. Lakhani said that the action was taken on the basis of the GWSSB’s internal report and instructions from the Narmada Water Resources and Water Supply Secretary.

Lakhani said the water supply department had received complaints from some villages that they are not receiving water or the force is weak. On enquiring, the department officials found that some villages connected the internal water supply network to the Raw Water Supply and Sanitation’s (RWSS) main network. It is illegal to draw water from the main network, as it reduces the force of water supply to downstream villages.

There is no plan to penalise or to take any departmental action, said the officer, adding that notices are issued seeking explanation for their unapproved action. The officer hopes that many villages will immediately disconnect connections, and will link the local network with the local water sump. Only the local sump is connected with the RWSS main network.

“Mahisagar is not the only district from where such complaints have surfaced, there are complaints from other districts too, but I don’t have information about them,” said Dhananjay Dwivedi, Secretary, Narmada Water Resources and Water Supplies.

He added that along with Mahisagar DDO, other district officers too are instructed to look into complaints and take appropriate action to stop illegal connections to draw water from the main network.

20220606-134003

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