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Updated: March 17, 2014 11:49 IST

20,000 houses face dry taps as Kulai pump house crumbles

Staff Correspondent
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The inside view of the neglected pump house at Kulai near Mangalore. Photo: H.S. Manjunath
The Hindu
The inside view of the neglected pump house at Kulai near Mangalore. Photo: H.S. Manjunath

A big sign board cautions people against entering the pump house in Kulai as the building is dilapidated. A part of the roof has collapsed, exposing steel rods. The crumbling of the structure, which has already reduced the storage capacity of a sump, can severely hit water supply to 20,000 houses unless urgent attention is paid to it.

. “We do not know when this will come down. We are worried about the workers maintaining the pump house,” said Jayaram Acharya, a resident of Surathkal.

It is one of the four pump houses in the city that contribute to the drinking water supply network. Constructed 40 years ago, the pump house had been meeting the drinking water requirements in eight wards in and around Surathakal.

Personnel working at the pump house said it was now catering to needs of drinking water of Kulai, Hosabettu and Kulai East wards only.

Yogish Shenoy, a resident of Kulai, said a sump that stocks water coming to the pump house was crumbling. “As a result the workers here are not in a position to completely fill the sump that has a capacity of 50,000 litres. Presently, it can only stock one third of the capacity,” Mr. Shenoy said.

Mr. Shenoy claimed that lack of regular maintenance of old motors has drastically brought down its pumping capacity.

Moreover, residents fear of contamination of water as entry was free for all. Yogish Sanil said three contract workers posted at the pump house in shifts are made to live in an open shed above the sump. They are not provided with the drinking water and toilet facility.

MCC responds

Agreeing with the poor condition of Kulai Pump House, Mangalore City Corporation’s Executive Engineer Jayaprakash said plan has been worked out for complete overhaul of Kulai, Thumbe, Padil and Pamanbur pump houses. The MCC has worked out estimate for repair of the building, cleaning the surroundings, replacement of old electrical installations and also the dysfunctional non-returnable values. The estimates were prepared six months ago. “We are waiting for clearance by the standing committee,” Mr. Jayaprakash said.

Regarding poor basic facilities for the personnel at the pump house, Mr. Jayaprakash said the MCC cannot do anything in the matter. Mr. Jayaprakash said the contractor under whom these personnel are working should provide better shelter and toilet facility.

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