Public protest over Piravom-Maradu pipe-laying work held it up for 2 years
After a long hiatus, works have begun for laying water pipeline from Piravom to Maradu where a treatment plant with a daily capacity of hundred million litres is getting ready.
Trial pits have been dug to assess underground cables in the area. Road will be blocked on Wednesday from Vattakunnu to Palace Square, a stretch of 1.5 km, as part of the job.
The water supply augmentation plan in which Kochi Corporation is the major stakeholder had been stonewalled after Piravom residents objected to trenching the roads for laying the pipelines as it would block their arterial road to the city.
The drinking water project was conceived to bring 100 MLD water to the suburbs of Kochi.
The project had an estimate of Rs. 201 crore when it was announced in 2007 under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission. The project, which was expected to be up and running in 2011 after the works began in 2008-09, is now likely to be completed by September 2013, said an official in the Kerala Water Authority.
The improvement of water supplied to the West Kochi area and adjoining local bodies from the new project would result in increased supply in the city areas, it is expected.
The official said the cost maths would not see much of a change and it is pegged at Rs 260 crore.
The work, which might require four months, involves laying steel pipes with a diameter of over one metre into two-metre-wide trenches. Of the 9.5 km, at least 5-km-long stretch on the main road needs to be dug up, and it will be taken up in stages.
The work on the treatment plant at Maradu is 70 per cent complete.
Another major task, after calming down the protest against road digging, is to acquire land for about 4-km stretch from Mulanthuruthy to Udayamperoor. Though the delay in the work is said to have caused by the people’s protest, it is also being said that the government could have gone ahead and acquired land on the stretch that didn’t have any deviation from the original plan.
The delay in starting the work at Piravom has also slackened the pace of work on the rest of the stretch as well. According to the official, pipelines have been bought and kept ready for laying.