The Communist Party of India(Marxist) [CPI(M)] will launch an agitation on Monday in protest against the regular pipe-bursts and the resultant disruptions in water supply in the city.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, party district unit secretary Kadakampally Surendran said Deputy Leader of the Opposition Kodiyeri Balakrishnan would inaugurate a protest march and subsequent sit-in in front of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) headquarters here. The agitation would demand the urgent intervention of the government to solve the water crisis in the city and ensure speedy completion of the probe that was ordered into the simultaneous pipe-burst near Peroorkada on the eve of the Attukal Pongala festival.
He said the same pipeline, the 1200-mm transmission mainline carrying water from Aruvikkara to Observatory Hills, had burst over 90 times in the past 12 years, and 12 times in the past 10 days.
Mr. Surendran said it was learnt that the government order with regard to the probe by a special panel headed by former Chief Secretary K. Jayakumar was yet to be issued. At the same time, a probe report by a superintending engineer of the KWA had not been made public. Anyone who aired doubts whether the recent pipe-bursts were part of a larger conspiracy to facilitate the entry of the proposed Cochin International Airport Ltd.-model water distribution company could not be blamed, he said.
Accusing the government of failing to handle the water shortage after the February 25 simultaneous pipe-burst, Mr. Surendran said there was a lack of coordination with the KWA as well. It was the government’s continuing ‘indifference’ to the issue that had prompted the party to launch the strike. The party would hold similar protests in front of every village office in the district. The agitation would be intensified depending on the response, or lack of it, from the government.