The war of words over the delay in completing the Thammanam-Pullepady water supply pipe replacement scheme has intensified with the consultants, WPACOS, holding the Kochi Corporation and the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDP) responsible for the delay.
“We are in no way responsible for the delay and it is the Kochi Corporation and the KSUDP that is to be blamed. There is no delay or laxity on our part. Consultants cannot go beyond a point in pushing the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) of Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project or the stake holder, Kochi Corporation,” said P.M. Chacko, the team leader of WAPCOS.
Though the consultants completed the preparation of the detailed projects report on time, the two agencies failed in implementing them. The detailed project report, which was prepared after a series of discussions, had to be revised a number of times as per the directions of the two agencies. This has delayed the process further, Mr. Chacko alleged.
Incidentally, the Deputy Mayor C. K. Manisankar had alleged last week in the corporation council meeting that the consultant should be blacklisted as it was not carrying out its responsibilities on time.
He further alleged that the agency was denying drinking water to the residents of Kochi by not tendering the projects.
According to Mr. Chacko, it was quite unfortunate that the projects could not be completed on time. There has been a delay of over two years in completing the project. Any attempt to put the responsibility on the agency will be resisted as the PIU and the Kochi Corporation are solely responsible for the delay, he said.
“We are fed up with the Kochi Corporation authorities and the KSUDP officials. Our team is in the dark about how to take the project further,” he said.
It took the civic authorities around two-and-a-half years for identifying the land in West Kochi for the sewage treatment plant project, he said.
The agency is planning to write to the State government detailing the works it had carried out.
The WAPCOS is also the consultants for the Kozhikode Corporation and Thrissur municipality where all the works are progressing smoothly and on time.
The authorities in Kochi are not keen on implementing the projects, he alleged.
Mr. Chacko suggested that the PIU of Kochi needs to be revamped. It should be headed by an officer of the level of Superintending Engineer.
A team of senior officials should be appointed for assisting him as envisaged in the agreement of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission project, he suggested.
Mr. Chacko said that the agency had brought the issues related to the implementation of projects in Kochi to the notice of the State government earlier.