Says commendable progress in work on new pipeline

Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph, who on Tuesday inspected the ongoing work on the new 1200-mm mild-steel (MS) transmission mainline from Aruvikkara to Peroorkada, said that the progress made over the last one month was commendable and that the work would be completed latest by the end of June.

Interacting with media persons after he walked along the pipeline trench at Irumba, near the Kummi pump-house where the existing pipe had burst thrice in the last one month, Mr. Joseph said work on the 9.7-km new pipeline, which would replace the existing 1200-mm pre-stressed concrete (PSC) line laid in 1998, had begun on January 21 and made admirable progress over the last one month.

The UDF government, as soon as it assumed power, had given priority to the new pipeline in order to set right the bottlenecks that plagued the water supply system in the capital city and had sanctioned Rs.50 crore for this project. The issues that existed in connection with the digging up of roads for laying the pipeline with the Kerala Road Fund Board would be sorted out within a week. Two teams were working on the project and all efforts would be made to complete the work by the end of June, the Minister said.

Probe on

On the simultaneous bursts that occurred on the existing PSC pipe on February 25, Mr. Joseph said he had aired doubts of a sabotage angle because four simultaneous bursts were a first. The panel led by former Chief Secretary K. Jayakumar, set up by the government to probe the incident, was on the job and a clear picture was expected soon. The PSC pipe had a maximum lifespan of 10 years, and this particular pipe had outlived that, he said, adding that the decision to replace the PSC pipe with an MS pipe was because the latter was the best quality pipe available as of now.

The ongoing work was to lay 1200mm pipe from Aruvikkara to the Peroorkada interconnection point via Aruvikkara-Irumba-Kalathukal-Kachani-Mukkola-Vazhayila-Peroorkada. Once the work was completed, complaints over the frequent water supply disruptions in the city were expected to be settled, Mr. Joseph said.

The Minister, who was accompanied by Ashok Kumar Singh, Managing Director, Kerala Water Authority; P. Sreekumaran Nair, KWA Chief Engineer (South); and other senior officials, later stopped for a quick look at the pipeline road near Vazhayila. Officials said he was briefed on how the pipeline road, at several points, could not accommodate one more pipe since it already had three main pipes, which was why the PWD road would have to be dug up at a couple of points.