Delay in interlinking Pilloor Phase I and Phase II supply pipelines criticised

The four-month-long hiatus in conducting the Coimbatore Corporation Council meet did very little to cool Councillors, who were angry over the lack of progress on various development projects.

No sooner the Council meeting began on Monday morning than the Councillors were up on their feet complaining about poor drinking water supply. Angrier were those from North and East zones, which are fed by Pilloor water.

Councillors C. Padmanabhan, P. Shobana, S.M. Samy and many others, cutting across party lines, highlighted the plight of residents. “How is it possible for the people to store water for 10 -15 days,” asked Ms. Shobana.

As officials attempted to explain the status of the Pilloor Phase II project, the Councillors said they expected the officers concerned to not hide behind technical details but say when the water supply would be regularised.

The delay in interlinking the Pilloor Phase I and Phase II also came in for criticism. Ms. Shobana, who wanted to know the reason behind the delay, asked if the Corporation went ahead with the scheme by obtaining permission.

If yes, how was it that the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board was delaying permission to link the two supply pipelines and provide water.

The poor water supply situation was on account of the reduced supply from the Board, replied K. Sukumar, Executive Engineer.

“On May 31 the Board supplied 35 million litres a day (mld), On June 1 it supplied 19 mld, on June 3 -36 mld, on June 8 -18 mld, on June 9 -23 mld and on June 12 -59 mld,” he said and added that the Board ought to supply 64 - 65 mld.

If the officials cannot ensure frequent supply of assured water, they should at least ensure that all the affected wards get uniform quantity of water, suggested S.M. Samy, Chairman, East Zone, and Councillor, Ward 6.

Mayor R. Venkatachalam, who intervened, said this summer situation at Siruvani Dam too was grim and that the water managers were pushed to a corner. The situation has, however, improved, thanks to the rain in the past few days.

Assuring Councillors that the water supply situation will improve in the coming days, he directed engineers to do all that was necessary to improve water supply.

In addition to looking at improving the pumping and supply, the Corporation should write to the State Government to ask the Kerala government to desilt the dam, suggested M.S. Velmurugan, Councillor, Ward 57.

He also drew the Mayor's and engineers' attention to water getting wasted because of severed water supply lines across the city. “During the execution of development works, the contractors damage water supply pipelines that are never repaired. The leaking water flood the streets, making it difficult for road users.”

How did the Corporation meet the shortfall in water supply, asked K. Purushothaman, Councillor, Ward 61.

“If the civic body supplied water through lorries, is it maintaining records – the lorries supplying water, the time they filled and discharged water, the areas they served in a day and the number of trips they made. And, if yes, the engineers should share the details with the Council.”

Meeting

The Mayor then finally asked the engineers to convene a meeting of Corporation engineers, zonal heads and Councillors with the TWAD Board officials.

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