Free drinking water scheme launched in water-scarce Hyderabad

Hyderabad, Jan 12 (IANS) Fulfilling a major promise made in last month’s elections to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, the TRS government in Telangana on Tuesday launched 20,000 liters free water scheme in Greater Hyderabad government.

Minister for municipal administration and urban development K. T. Rama Rao formally launched the scheme at Rahmat Nagar in the city.

The scheme is expected to benefit nine lakh families, who use less than 20,000 liters of water every month.

The minister issued zero water bills to some beneficiaries on the occasion. He said though the scheme would put an additional burden of Rs.500 crore on the state exchequer, the government kept its promise.

Ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), in its manifesto for Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, has promised that all households in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits will get free drinking water from December with the ceiling of 20,000 liters per month.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had stated that Hyderabad, which has 10 lakh domestic water connections, will become the second city in India after Delhi to provide free drinking water. The move will benefit 97 per cent of consumers.

The chief minister had also revealed that he spoke to his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal about the implementation of the scheme before including it in the election manifesto.

Chandrasekhar Rao also appealed to people to cooperate in ensuring that the water is not wasted. He said if the scheme is successfully implemented in Hyderabad, it will be subsequently extended to other municipalities.

In the elections held on December 1, TRS won 55 seats in 150-member GHMC but fell short of majority due to impressive performance by BJP, which bagged 48 seats.

Even before its candidate is formally elected as mayor, TRS government fulfilled the poll promise.

Launching the scheme, Rama Rao said despite financial crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the state government was continuing all development and welfare programmes.

He pointed out that distribution of assistance to farmers under Rythu Bandhu, one rupee a kg rice to the poor, double bedroom housing for poor and social security pensions were all delivered despite the financial constraints.

KTR, as the minister is popularly known, claimed that history was being created. “It’s a big day for Hyderabad which witnessed drinking water scarcity and people protesting with empty pots,” he said and remarked Sankranti has come two days in advance for people in Hyderabad.

At a time when other metro cities such as Chennai were suffering from scarcity of drinking water and the same was being transported through trains from far off places, it is due to the farsightedness of Chandrasekhar Rao that Hyderabad was not facing such problems, he said.

The minister said Hyderabad was being supplied safe drinking water from Godavari and Krishna rivers. Projects are being taken up to ensure there is no shortage of drinking water till 2048.

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