A 110-kV sub-station for the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) in Aluva, the paperwork for which began in 2002 and costing Rs.16.5 crore, may take at least six months more for completion.
The commissioning of the project, planned to solve the problem of frequent interruption in power supply to the KWA’s water treatment and pumping facilities in the heart of the town, appears to be held up by the delay in procuring the 110 kv cable, that will link the sub-station and the KWA yard, located about 2 km apart.
Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) sources said though the project was initiated in 2002, there had been delay in the KWA finalising its actual specifications for the sub-station. Initially the KWA wanted a single feeder, which was later revised to two feeders.
Estimating the cost of the installation was thus done in different stages, which delayed the beginning of the actual work. The delay in finalisation of the specifications and preparation of estimate for the installation also resulted in the KWA making payments at different stages, the final payment having been made only about a year ago.
But what now holds up the project is the procurement of the highly specific cable, which will be manufactured only after the order is placed. The order will be placed after the KSEB approves the purchase through a global tender.
Sources said the contract was being given for supply and laying of the cable and the price bids were yet to be opened. It will take another two months for the contract to be awarded.
The 110-kV sub-station project was a deposit work for which the KWA had now deposited a total of Rs.16.5 crore with the KSEB. The project had a delayed start because of the glitches in the calculation of the amount of expenditure in erecting the sub-station and laying the cable.
Water authority sources claimed that being a work of substantial scale, there was some problem in finalising the expenditure estimates. Initially the KWA deposited Rs. 11 crore with the KSEB for the work. The amount involved in building the new facility was revised later.
Work on the sub-station was taken up with financial assistance from the Department for International Development (DFID) and aimed at augmenting infrastructure for enhanced water treatment and pumping at KWA’s key installation in Aluva.
The facility has an installed capacity to treat and supply 220 million litres of water per day, meeting drinking water demand in Kochi and its suburbs. The treatment and pumping is raised to 260 million litres a day during the dry season to meet higher demand.