HYDERABAD: Secunderabad Cantonment Board’s (SCB) decision to collect `12,000 for issuing permission to drill a new borewell has came as a shocker for not just residents but also irked revenue officials.
Earlier tahsildars under whose purview borewells were being drilled used to give permission, if the applicant submits a demand draft for just `100. SCB had nothing to do with giving permissions for drilling borewells. But now the board has brought a new rule stating that they are authorised to give permissions for drilling borewells and collecting exorbitant amount for permissions, Tirumalgherry tahsildar K Ramakrishna has alleged. ‘’SCB has unilaterally taken this decision without consulting us. They should have at least informed us. There is no response from the SCB though we contacted them. We will inform this to higher officials,’’ he said.
While revenue department officials criticised the decision, SCB officials strongly justified the new rule.
There are two types of borewells, four-and- half-inch and six-and-half-inch in SCB limits. Tahsildars used to give permission for four-and-half and SCB used to give permission for six-and-half borewells.
As SCB was strict in granting nod for drilling borewells, many people applied for four-an-half inch borewells and after getting permission from the tahsildars, used to drill six-and-half inch borewells, thereby putting severe pressure on ground water levels, Savan Kumar of the SCB, said.
Also there was no proper monitoring by the revenue officials on drilling. As a result more and more borewells were being drilled depleting the ground water. To curb these irregularities, SCB has decided to bring all borewell permissions under its purview. ‘’We feel this will stop residents from going for more and more borewells and also ensure that water is used sparingly,’’ Savan Kumar said.
While revenue officials and SCB were sticking to their stances and contradicting each other, it is the residents who have to face the consequences.
‘’The sum of `12,000 for getting permission to drill borewell is very expensive and unaffordable for many and the board should reconsider its decision,’’ B Srinivasa Reddy, a resident, said.