Hyderabad: The state government has directed all local bodies in districts to give top priority to drinking water while spending funds accrued through Layout Regularistion Scheme and Building Penalisation Scheme. All the local bodies in districts together earned a whopping Rs 525 crore through LRS and BPS schemes announced by state government in November 2015.
While LRS applications have been cleared, the BPS has been stuck due to a case pending in the Hyderabad High Court since December 2015. The court, however, had allowed the local bodies to receive BPS applications. A total of three lakh BPS applications were received across the state, of which 1.40 lakh were from the GHMC limits alone. The GHMC alone got Rs 2,500 crore, which was collected towards application and processing fee. The order on giving top priority to drinking water projects in local bodies was issued by municipal administration commissioner T.K. Sreedevi .
The order, however, adds that the local bodies need to take the approval of chairman of District Development and Review Committee (DDRCs) in respective committees before spending funds. The state government has issued directions to all municipal corporations, municipalities, and nagar panchayats to divide the funds accrued through LRS and BPS in the ratio of 50:50.
Of this, 50 per cent of the funds should be spent on improving civic facilities, while the balance 50 per cent should be spent on ensuring drinking water during the summer. This is because all the municipalities have be-en facing severe drinking water crisis in the summer. The water supply is being provided once in two or three days. The government has been asking local bodies to hire private borewells, tankers etc to meet the demand but they could not do so citing paucity of funds. The funds being allocated by the government to meet water demand in the summer could not support local bodies even for a month in the summer.