Water tankers arrive only once a week and the women in the house ration out water for the family.

Vijayamma Dasan and Saritha Sajeevan were feeling lucky to get their pots filled on Friday. “There is water now, it may go off any time,” said Ms. Sajeevan.

Living with uncertainty has become a habit for these women and about 25 other households in Valiakattu, Thekkumbagam in Tripunithura, where the fag end of a water supply line was connected to a temporary hose to fill the pots for all the families around.

Water tankers arrive only once a week and the women in the house ration out water for the family from their pots. Pointing to a small canal of brackish water flowing into a puddle, Ms. Sajeevan said they sometimes used this water to wash clothes and many a time they had brought water on bicycles from far off public taps.

“People using motor pump to siphon off water from pipe lines are another reason for lack of water here,” said Ms. Sajeevan. “If piped water is difficult, we will be happy if the municipality can help us harvest rainwater,” she said.

Ward councillor U.K. Peethambaran told The Hindu that of the 240-odd water connections sanctioned under a scheme for Scheduled Castes, only 140-odd have been provided. The scheme had been on from the last government, he said, adding that Rs. 10 lakh was given to KWA under the scheme.

People would get water even if there was supply only on alternate days, but the uniformity and regularity in supply was the problem. The old pipelines that cannot withstand the force of water was also a problem, he said.

However, municipal chairman R. Venugopal told The Hindu that the scheme became active only recently and 468 connections were sanctioned under the scheme. But water supply could not be provided to 127 houses because of lack of documents.

Meanwhile, residents of Tripunithura under the apex council of Tripunithura Rajanagari Union of Residents' Association (TRURA) protested in front of the Kerala Water Authority office against lack of water in several parts of the town for the last 15-20 days.

Demanding a probe into the irregularities in the laying of the new pipeline from S. N. Junction to Puthiyakavu, V. P. Prasad, chairman of TRURA, alleged there was an alignment problem in connecting the new pipeline to the old through connectors, which were of suspect quality.

He said KWA officials had informed that there were leaks at about 50 places. Pumping was expected to start in full swing on Friday, but this had not happened.

A plumbing contractor with KWA told The Hindu that the work was done hastily to complete the road topping work before Atham. It was a wrong decision to start the pipe-laying work in May since the work was time-consuming.

He said the contractors and the politicians had hastened the pipeline laying project for their own reasons — contractors for losing out on their interest for buying the pipelines and politicians for their love of inaugurating the project.

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