Divergent opinion in KWA on fixing leak leaves city dry

Water, water everywhere…” For those who are regular users of the Medical College Hospital-Ulloor road, water seeping out of an ever-widening crack bang on the motorway is nothing new. For the past several days now, the local people have watched helplessly as many a litre of water was wasted from what is evidently a leak/crack on a pipeline beneath the road.

It is not that the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) is unaware of this leak; there seems to be some divergent opinion on which KWA section should carry out the repair work — Kowdiar section or the Pongumoodu section.

This, at a time when parts of the city are feeling the pinch of shortage of drinking water. So much for the KWA efforts to curb non- revenue water.

Speaking of revenue, the sale of water to water tankers in February 2014 from the filling station at Aruvikkara fetched the KWA about Rs. 19 lakh. Last year, the corresponding figure was about Rs. 32 lakh. Given the ever-increasing demand for water in the city, does this mean that the sale of water has come down or is it that only a portion of the water reaching customers in tankers is from the KWA?

Few prepaid stands

Prepaid autorickshaw stands have come as a boon to commuters who were hitherto taken for a ride by auto-drivers who charged exorbitant rates. The prepaid stands at Thampanoor and near the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College continue to function in spite of opposition from sections of the auto-driver fraternity. Such initiatives have made travelling in the city more easier and affordable.

However, notwithstanding the persistent demand from the public for more prepaid stands, only a couple more have come up — at the Pettah Railway Station and near Gandhi Park at East Fort.

Plans to open such stands near General Hospital Junction, to benefit hundreds of people who visit the hospital as well as those heading for the Vanchiyoor Court Complex and nearby areas, and another one near Technopark, still remain on paper for technical reasons, including availability of land. Successful initiatives for public transport, it appears, take some time to get moving.

(Contributed by G. Mahadevan and Dennis Marcus Mathew)