Rs.805.6-crore JICA project will benefit 13 lakh people

The multi-crore Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-assisted drinking water project is set for commissioning on May 15, giving relief to people in the city and 13 grama panchayats battling drought-like situations this summer.

The Rs.805.6-crore project, set to provide 174 MLD (million litres per day) water from the Peruvannamuzhi reservoir, is set to benefit 13 lakh people and provide over 1 lakh domestic connections.

The project, once commissioned, would supply drinking water to the Kozhikode city and the panchayats of Balussery, Nanmanda, Kakkoor, Kakkodi, Chelannur, Narikuni, Kunnamangalam, Kurivattoor, Peruvayal, Perumanna, Kadalundy, Olavanna, and Thalakkulathur in the district.

Erratic supply

Currently, the city requires 140 MLD water, but the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) is only able to supply 50 MLD after distribution loss. This results in erratic supply of water. The JICA-project will ensure that water is supplied on a daily basis.

“We were supposed to finish work by April 31. But issues like a stop memo issued by the Peruvannamuzhi Village Officer owing to protests by local people, the Kasturirangan issue, and a prolonged quarry owners’ strike leading to shortage in raw materials has delayed the work,” K.G. Harshan, Project Director, said on Thursday.

According to JICA project officials, 95 per cent of cardinal infrastructure works was over. This includes the super-structure of the floating intake well, which has been anchored at Peruvannamuzhi.

“The well has been anchored in 20-m depth, the PCC base has been completed and concretised and holes have been drilled,” Mr. Harshan said.

Water treatment plant

“The water treatment plant at Ponmala is also complete except for some finishing work. The plant has been built using a patented technology by a French company. This plant will treat the 174 MLD drinking water to be distributed through the project,” he said.

Officials said 99.5 per cent of the 123-km long transmission lines have been completed. The only hiccups on the transmission side is concerning a line travelling through the S.N. College grounds in Chelannur and a 150-km stretch on the Feroke railway land. But officials said Rs.20.5 lakh had already been deposited with Railways as a security to pull the line on their land and permission was awaited. Once it was given, the work would take hardly a week.

Reservoirs

Work has also been completed on 17 of the 20 reservoirs. Of this, works on reservoirs proposed at Thalakulathur, Kakkoor, and Narikuni have been tendered. The delay was due to availability of land in these three panchayats.

The work on reservoirs was supposed to be completed by February. Each of these reservoirs would be operated using the novel SCADA (Supervision, Control, and Data Acquisition) system to prevent distribution loss. JICA officials said 62 per cent of the work — 1200-odd km of a total of 1,854 km of distribution lines — has been completed.

NHAI

JICA is negotiating with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to dig up roads along the Malaparamba and Kunnamangalam stretch of the National Highway and the stretch from Elathur to Meenchanda. About Rs.11 crore has already been deposited with the NHAI as road reformation fee in this regard. “With the commissioning of the JICA-aided project, Kozhikode will get 174 MLD water over and above the current amount of 50 MLD,” Mr. Harshan said.

JICA has already spent Rs.650 crore of the total Rs.805.6 crore. The remaining amount has to be utilised by this month-end or the fund would lapse.

“Pre-commissioning works have already started. We have not wasted any time to bring this project to the public,” Mr. Harshan said.

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