BENGALURU: In view of the drought across the state, the Directorate of Municipal Administration has decided to ease the norms for ordering works for drinking water purposes. Minister for Municipalities and Local Bodies Eshwar Khandre said that priority will be given to drinking water in the light of 139 taluks being declared drought-hit.
“To give priority to works being undertaken to provide drinking water, we have given exemption under Section 4(a) of Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement (KTPP) Act and we have instructed local officials to make use of it,” he said. About `250 crore is now available to be utilised under this exemption. The section allows for exemption during the period of natural calamity .
The exemption will not be applicable to central schemes being undertaken in the state at present. Khandre said that even a short-term tender takes at least a week’s time and this is delaying works. The exemption will be applicable to works like laying of new pipelines and extension of pipelines for drinking water and also for digging of new borewells.
The government, which had imposed a ban on digging borewells due to the alarming depletion of groundwater table, has withdrawn the ban. All such works will have to be approved by the deputy commissioner and this exemption is likely to be in place till June 2017.