It has laid less than 2 km of pipelines

Facing a ministerial deadline of June 30 for laying drinking water pipelines from Aruvikkara to Peroorkada, the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) has only managed to lay less than two km of pipes till date.

The new pipeline is intended as an alternative to the existing, burst-ridden, concrete line, and will be 9,600 metres long when completed.

Work on laying the line started in January this year. In March, Minister for Water Resources P.J. Joseph set for the KWA a June deadline for readying this line.

Engineers associated with the pipe-laying work told The Hindu that pipe sections had been laid only in the first ‘reach’ of the project from Aruvikkara to Irumba. The project is being done in six reaches — Aruvikkara to Irumba; Irumba to Kalathukal; Kalathukal to Kachani; Kachani to Mukkola; Mukkola to Vazhayila; and Vazhayila to Peroorkada.

“The new line had to cross existing lines at three locations. At Kummi alone, there were two such crossings. Moreover, there was water-logging at three spots. All this took time. That said, the rest of the reaches may not be as problematic as the first one because there are stretches where the pipelines can be laid in a straight line. But as of now, a June-end deadline may not be feasible,” one engineer said.

Yet another factor that is proving a drag on the pipe-laying work is the rising mercury levels in the capital city.

Engineers said there was no shortage of material for the project this time; close to 6,500 metres of pipeline had arrived in the city and more was on the way. The arrival of more pipes was actually put on hold because the water authority did not have adequate space to store them.