Utility has so far registered over 20,000 hits

The Project Status Alert System of Kerala Water Authority (PASK), which was launched in early November, will soon have details of projects being implemented with assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which were hitherto kept out of the loop.

This will bring into public focus the five JICA projects, the implementation and delays in implementation of which have been mired in controversy for long. These are the water supply and augmentation schemes in Thiruvananthapuram, Cherthala, Meenad, Kozhikode, and Pattuvam. The projects were not added when PASK was launched, since JICA projects had an official monitoring system of their own, but with little or restricted access for the public to gauge the progress. Now, with the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) trying to incorporate transparency into its functioning, it was decided that JICA projects too be brought under the PASK umbrella.

This is not the only change that is being made on PASK (www.pask.kwa.kerala.gov.in), which is currently being streamlined for the public and promises them access via web or SMS to keep an eye on the progress status of on-going projects of KWA.

Public scrutiny

KWA officials say that as of now there are 194 projects, being implemented under 800 packages and worth nearly Rs.3,000 crore, that are available for public scrutiny on PASK. Modifications are being made to enable officials to update the status of each project via SMS from the field apart from adding a consolidated status report to each project.

As for subscriptions — now open via an SMS to the KWA, the details of which are available on the website — there will be a few changes soon. They include enabling automated SMS to public representatives at all levels, starting from ward councillors to legislators.

Legislators have already evinced interest in PASK, with questions on its availability and functionality being tabled in the Assembly on Wednesday. The utility has so far registered over 20,000 hits and once the status reports of all projects are made available, it is expected to receive more attention from the public.

“The success of this initiative, intended to lay facts on the KWA’s projects bare for the public, depends largely on public response and their interest in monitoring the progress so that the officials are always on the vigil.

The streamlining is an ongoing process and we expect to add more features in the coming days,” a senior KWA official said.