Almost all travel brochures have a mention of the locations in West Kochi, but the stakeholders are a worried lot as summer heats up. For the time being, tanker lorries bringing in potable water are saving the day, as residents of these areas continue to pin their hopes on projects that have been hanging fire.
“The supply by the Kerala Water Authority through pipelines has been rationed to a couple of hours every day for many years now. What we are hoping for is the interconnection for HUDCO water project at Elamkulam, which will provide 15 MLD to Palluruthy. Once that is through, we can divert the water presently given to Palluruthy region to other parts of West Kochi”, said T.K. Ashraf, Corporation councillor and chairman of Health Standing Committee. He said that top tourist sectors in Fort Kochi are relatively better off compared to areas like Mattanchery, Chakkamadom, Aanavathil and Koovapadom because it is benefited by extra water supplied to the Navy and the Coast Guard.
But Kumbalanghi, the first ever model tourism village in the country, does not have even that advantage. Despite holding extensive awareness campaigns to preserve the natural water sources, nearly 200 wells in the village are facing neglect from local bodies.
“Many wells in the public area are being destroyed by dumping waste and garbage and it is high time the panchayat did something to correct the situation”, said M.P. Sivadathan, president of Kumbalanghi Model Tourism Development Society.
Residents of Kumbalanghi are now waiting for the commissioning of the desalination plant being installed under the Sustainable Agri-village project. This is expected to benefit Kumbalanghi and Chellanam, the worst drought-hit area in the district. At present, water is supplied in tanker lorries depending on the requirement, especially when tourists are around, Mr. Sivadathan said.