JNNURM awaits NHAI nod to cut road at Karamana

More than six years after it was approved and work launched, completion of the project to augment water supply in the city under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) is still caught in uncertainty.

The project, which has been hitting roadblocks all along, right from issues like no takers for its tenders, delays in land acquisitions, lack of funds for restoration of roads dug up as part of it, and to even confusion over payment of salaries to the staff deputed to the project, has been caught in another roadblock for the last one year.

This time, it is in the form of delay in permission from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to cut the road at Karamana.

The Karamana package of the project includes laying ductile iron (DI) pipes, while the nine other packages are all for laying PVC pipes for the distribution network, which is expected to augment the existing system and improve water supply in the areas under the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation and surroundings, currently catered to by existing pipeline networks of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA).

Work on laying the DI pipes, for over 3 km from Karamana to Nemom, had been held up for more than a year, that too after the pipes were unloaded on the roadside, since the NHAI was yet to accord permission to cut the road for laying the pipes, officials in charge of the project said. Work on the other packages, including interconnections and charging was progressing, the officials said, adding that water supply from the augmented system had already begun in a few zones of the city.

Nothing could be said as to when Karamana and Nemom and the areas that were to be serviced by the DI distribution network would start getting water under the new system, they said.

No word yet

“Nearly 70 per cent of the project is over and water supply in some zones like Vattiyoorkavu is already on,” an official said, adding that there was no word on when the NHAI permission would come.

As per the JNNURM website, the progress of the project till June 30 was 60 per cent, with 76 per cent of the Central funds being utilised.

The total estimate of the project was Rs.87.16 crore, with the Centre’s share being Rs.69.72 crore and the rest to come from the State government and the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation. The expected date of completion, as stated in the website, is March 2014.