A District Development Committee meet held recently looked into the burning issues of the city. People’s representatives called for urgent steps to solve the water crisis, repair damaged roads and streamline bus services in the city.
MLA’s said drinking water supplied to areas in greater Kochi was scarce and demanded the Kerala Water Authority to solve the crisis. District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareeth said he would bring the matter to the notice of the government.
KWA officials, however, said the increased presence of mud in water had led to the crisis. This forced them to divert water from Karanakkodam to the HUDCO pipeline and reduce the quantity of water generated at the Aluva pump house. Hibi Eden, MLA, said due to water diversion, supply to the Thammanam pump house had dropped by 3 million litres per day.
Water pipelines to Edappally, Kunnumpuram, Cheranalloor, Unnichira in Thrikkakara, and wards 17, 18, and 19 in Maradu municipality had been lying dry for weeks.
Mr. Eden said the KWA could not fix a date for the restoration of normal water supply.
Public Works Department Executive Engineer P.P. Benny said roadworks would begin in the first week of August. He admitted that roads resurfaced before the rains were the worst affected. Contractors would not be paid unless they carried out repairs. Assistant engineers had been directed to oversee the filling of potholes. Mr. Benny said interlocking bricks would be used to strengthen roads at junctions and water logged areas.
Ludy Lewis, MLA, asked the PWD to take a leaf out of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s book to undertake maintenance work for the Kochi metro and tarring of Airport Road at Nedumbassery.
Anwar Sadat, MLA, criticised the absence of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials at the meeting. The condition of the national highway was pathetic. Accidents were common at Parambayam on the Aluva-Angamaly stretch. NHAI had also turned a deaf ear to the demand to reconstruct the missing railings of bridges. The apathy of the NHAI had to be brought to the notice of the government, Mr. Sadat said.
Motor Vehicles Department officials said action would be taken against private buses owners who arbitrarily cancelled trips to Elamakkara, Vaduthala, and Chittoor. Steps were being taken to make uniforms mandatory for bus employees. Action would also be taken against bus operators who had permanently barred emergency doors.
The cancellation of mini KSRTC bus services to Vaduthala boat jetty was also raised at the meeting. KSRTC officials cited shortage of conductors as the reason for the move.
The meeting also called for the restoration of the old parking arrangement at South railway station and formation of a division of the PWD electrical section in the district.