The PWD and the KWA are blaming each other for the delay in completing the new pipeline from S.N. Junction to Puthiyakavu.

When crucial service providers of the government fail to work together, people have to bear the brunt of their discord. The hartal called by private bus service organisations and the CPI(M) in Tripunithura on Monday was the immediate fall-out of the run-down condition of the arterial road of the town from S.N. Junction to Puthiyakavu.

It is nearly two months since the road was dug up as part of laying a new pipeline from S.N. Junction to Puthiyakavu. Neither the Kerala Water Authority nor the Public Works Department has been able to complete their works. Both service organisations blame each other for delay.

KWA officials say that they only have to complete the interconnections at both ends and at the Andhakarathodu bridge while the PWD assistant executive engineer at Tripunithura said that restoration work of the road is going on. But the department will not allow the KWA to dig up the road for the final connection of the new pipeline to the existing line at S.N. Junction and Puthiyakavu till they remit the pending amount for resurfacing the dug up road.

The KWA had released only Rs. 1.25 crore to the PWD whereas the revised estimate of PWD requires Rs. 2.14 crore for the work contract till now. The total work taken up by the KWA to change the old pipelines with 400 mm ductile iron pipes up to Puthiyakavu is Rs. 3.35 crore. While top officials in KWA said that the headquarters is yet to release the funds because of the revised estimate, the PWD official in Tripunithura is firm that funds be made available for any further digging up.

“There is no written permission from the top PWD official here that I should allow any further digging. The PWD unit here will have no funds to restore the road if I do not make the arrangements for funds”, said the assistant engineer, PWD, Tripunithura. The track record of KWA on remitting funds for the work has left me with no option, and I’m only following the PWD manual,” said the AE. “The KWA should have the funds ready before they start work,” he said. The delay in the work is causing much public outcry, said a PWD official. The people’s representatives need to take the initiative, said a KWA official. Apathy of the top officials of the two agencies was evident when the chief engineer of the PWD who came to inspect the road at Tripunithura on Saturday said that he was unaware of the issue.

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