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New connection woes in Hyderabad for drinking tap water
As our complex association decided to go for drinking water tap connection, they requested me to find out the details from the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board.

I contacted one my friend who had applied for the tap connection for his house. He gave shocking news that, there's lot of loot going on in the name of providing new connections.

He had come to know through sources that even after applying online, unfair practices are adopted for delaying the matter. The single window cell is being used by middlemen, by paying requisite initial amount and booking connections and they are recovering it later from the customers to whom the connection is provided. It is all taking place with the knowledge and support of some important officials in the board.

On enquiry it was found that as per rules, except 15mm dia connections, rest from 20mm to 100m dia new connections are approved and orders issued by a three official member committee through single window cell based at head office of the board on first-cum-first-serve basis. But, people say that the committee is for namesake. Officials named in the committee are concentrating on their regular allocated duties rather than involving themselves in decision making part in the committee. The decision making duties are taken by their subordinates as additional duty.

Even though several measures have been taken in streamlining the functions of the board to release the connections within 45 days after online application etc, still rules are being flouted. Although the demand for new connections has been increasing, but side by side hurdles and hardship too are on the rise to the applicants, fume several.

The network of middlemen is well spread in all the divisions of the board in the city including the head office. Even though monitoring closely the activities of the middlemen, the board is unable to break the ice. Rates are fixed in thousands for each dia size new connection by the middlemen. The applicants are not allowed to meet the concerned officials directly. If the demanded amount is paid to them, the connection is provided in a short span of time, otherwise one has to wait for months for the connections, sources said.

It was also reported in a local language daily that an applicant having waited for couple of months after applying online, reported the matter and even after putting pressure on the board officials through a ministerial staff, was unable to get a connection for his house.

Because of such a well knitted network, rules are flouted and connections are provided in open plots, domestic category connections to commercial activity premises, without feasibility report and construction permission pending, in housing colonies and complexes.

 The board has a grievances cell, dial your MD, and meet your MD facilities for consumer complaints. Complaints are noted, but the board is unable to stop middlemen menace and make available better services to the citizens.

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