Delay in interconnecting a pipeline laid as part of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-aided drinking water scheme with the existing pipeline network on the Vellayambalam-Kowdiar road caused most parts of the city to go without water for the whole of Sunday.
Work on interconnecting the pipelines, which began on Saturday, was to be completed by Sunday afternoon. However, even by midnight on Sunday, the work of welding the newly-connected pipelines was yet to be completed. Normal supply of water to all the affected areas is expected only by late Monday morning.
JICA officials and Kerala Water Authority re-started supply of water from the new JICA treatment plant at Aruvikkara by 11 p.m. on Sunday. Their aim was to reach this water to the reservoir at the Observatory Hill, via PTP Nagar. Both the 82-mld treatment plant at Aruvikkara and the JICA plant — which had been partially commissioned unofficially this month — had been shut down on Saturday afternoon to facilitate the interconnection work. However, the 36 million litres from this plant proved a poor substitute for the nearly 82 million litres that normally comes to the reservoir at Observatory Hills.
Some water from the 82-mld plant is tapped to feed the reservoir at Peroorkada. The Observatory reservoir shares some of its daily inflow with the reservoir that services the low-lying areas of the city. As a result, when this treatment plant was shut down, the operations of the Peroorkada reservoir and the one that services the low-lying areas were also hit. Moreover, it is the water from the low-level tank which is used to fill tanker lorries — mostly government-owned — at Vellayambalam.
The work on Saturday and Sunday involved the interconnection of the main pipeline bringing water from the 82-mld treatment plant at Aruvikkara and a new pipeline laid to the observatory hill as part of the JICA scheme.
This, according to JICA officials, would enable the KWA to ‘back feed' water from the reservoir at PTP Nagar to the reservoir at Observatory Hill, which services the low-lying areas of the city.