While the implementation of the project would bring an additional volume of around 100 Million Litres of water a Day for West Kochi and its neighbouring panchayats.

The decision to begin the Pazhoor drinking water supply scheme for Kochi, after a delay of around two years, comes with twin advantages to the Kochi Corporation.

While the implementation of the project would bring an additional volume of around 100 Million Litres of water a Day for West Kochi and its neighbouring panchayats that are reeling under acute drinking water shortage, the initiation of the work will also erase the blot on corporation — that of being a civic body which failed to implement the Centrally-supported scheme.

Many of the beneficiary cities of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission project are waiting for the second phase of the Mission after finishing the projects in the first mission. Kochi could not even begin the project that was sanctioned way back in 2007, said Tony Chammany, Kochi Mayor.

The non-implementation of the projects sanctioned in the first phase would certainly affect the prospect of the city when the second stage of the mission is launched. This would also result in reduced Central support for infrastructure projects for the city. It was the strong will of the State government that saved the situation for the Kochi Corporation, though it took nearly two years to end the deadlock over the route for laying the pipeline, Mr. Chammany said.

Delayed decision

The delay caused due to the objection from a section of people in Piravom over the trenching of the main thoroughfare connecting Piravom and Ernakulam was resolved the other day at a meeting convened by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at Thiruvananthapuram.

The project was to bring water from the Muvattupuzha River to Kochi and its suburbs, which are facing acute drinking water shortage. The Rs.201crore-project was sanctioned for the corporation under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The Kerala Water Authority was selected as the implementing agency.

The delay in completing the laying of pipes would translate into an additional financial burden of around Rs.4 crore. Going by the contractual conditions, the Kerala Water Authority may have to pay the amount to the contractor who won the bid for the work, said an official of the authority.

Materials purchased

The implementing agency escaped a possible steep increase in the project cost as the works were arranged before the controversy regarding the route erupted. The purchase of pipes and other materials were also completed which saved a considerable amount for the authority, officials said.

According to the understanding reached at the meeting convened by the Chief Minister, the pipeline from Pazhoor will be laid up to the ground level tank at Arakunnam through the main road. From there, the pipes would be laid through Pulikkamali, Thuppumpady and Palace Square to reach Vattekunnam. From Vattekunnam, the pipes would be laid through a paddy field to reach the water treatment plant at Maradu.

It has also been decided to complete the trenching in batches. Trenching will be done in stretches of 100 metres and dug up portions will be restored before starting the trenching in the next segment, officials of the authority said.

The authorities hope to complete the project next year, though the original plan was to finish the job this year.

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