Panchayats in coastal areas of the district continue to be parched as soaring summer demand is still being met mostly by inadequate tanker lorry supplies.

And, when it comes to supplies in tanker lorries, people are not too confident about the quality of the water, says A. K. Dinakaran, president of Mulavukadu panchayat, which is facing a severe shortage of drinking water.

He claimed that the pipes had dried up and there was no pumping of water from the Pacchalam pump house, which serves the Mulavukadu and Panampukadu islands. The panchayat council has sent in a request for supply of about 25,000 litres of water daily as an interim arrangement until pumping is back to normal, he added.

In Cheranalloor panchayat, the administrative council has agreed to a Kerala Water Authority proposal to establish a booster pump near Edappally to solve the current shortage of drinking water.

However, said the president of the panchayat Suresh Babu, this is an ad hoc arrangement. The panchayat authority has suggested a new pipeline via the Container Road and other long-term arrangements. Kumbalanghi, one of the panchayats which has been in the grip of water scarcity for long, has recently been successful in the providing new house connections but in remote areas people continue to wait for their daily supplies through tanker lorries.

President of the panchayat Usha Pradeep said that around 1,300 new house connections had been provided recently and that the water requirement in the remote areas is being met by lorry supplies.

The panchayat has arrangements for supply of 32,000 litres of water daily and it has also received sanction for providing another 16,000 litres more on a daily basis. The situation in Chellanam has improved considerably, said the president of the panchayat P. K. Thankachan. He said that the frequency of piped drinking water supply had increased to every alternate day and tanker lorry supplies too had picked up in view of the summer season. Tanker lorries supply about 40,000 litres of water daily, he said.

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