The revision of estimate for laying pipelines was required as the rate was originally fixed in 2008 according to the PWD manual that was in force

Laying of pipelines for the Piravom drinking water supply scheme in the Arakunnam area will begin early next month when rain recedes.

The trenching of the road at Arakunnam was blocked following resistance from the local population. The pipeline from Pazhoor will be laid up to the ground level tank at Arakunnam through the main road. From there, it will be diverted through Pulikkamali, Thuppumpady and Palace Square. The rerouting was done to pacify protestors. The objection to the earlier route and the agitations which followed had delayed the project considerably.

The Kerala Water Authority, which is implementing the drinking water scheme for the Kochi Corporation, has also approached the State-level Empowered Committee for revising the cost for laying pipelines for the project. Once the laying cost is revised and weather improves, the laying of pipelines would commence, said a senior official of the Authority.

The revision of estimate for laying pipelines was required as the rate was originally fixed in 2008 according to the Public Works Department manual that was in force. The rates in the manual were revised in 2010. The contractors need to be paid the revised rate for implementing the work. It would require the approval of the empowered committee as the project is funded by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, officials said.

The drinking water project was conceived to bring 100 MLD water to the suburbs of Kochi.

The improvement of water supplied to the West Kochi area and adjoining local bodies from the new project would result in increased supply in the city areas, it is expected.

The Authority is also awaiting the clearance from the National Highway Authority of India for laying pipelines from Maradu to Aroor. A major share of laying distribution pipelines has been completed. Around 60 per cent work of the water treatment plant at Maradu has been completed and the construction of the intake well at Piravom is also progressing, an official said.

An overhead tank with the storage capacity of 15 lakh litres was completed at Kumbalam and the piling of another one at Chellanam was over. If the project progresses as planned, it would be commissioned by mid-2013, officials said.

The Authority officials expect a cost escalation of around Rs. 50 crore when the project is completed. The initial estimate of the project was Rs. 201 crore. The Central support will be 50 per cent of the project cost and the State government will have to contribute 30 per cent. The share of the urban local body will be 20 per cent.

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