Officials of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) were virtually struggling to roll with the punches on Saturday as the drought-review meeting, chaired by the Chief Minister at the Collectorate here on Saturday, proved to be a heart-pounding game for them with questions from all directions.

Most of the people’s representatives who turned up for the meeting apparently found bliss in quizzing the KWA officers over delayed works and disruption of water supply. Officers were taken by a storm of questions fired by MLAs C.K. Nanu, K. Kunhammad, and K. Dasan.

On many occasions, the replies and justifications given by KWA officials to people’s representatives evoked laughter among those assembled.

To a question by Mr. Chandy regarding the time required for the completion of an important drought-relief project, the KWA representatives replied that they would be able to finish it by May 30. And, soon came the retort from some of the MLAs — that the drought would be over by that time.

The KWA officials apparently puzzled the Chief Minister by stating that they would need three days to test the quality of water.

The Chief Minister, visibly surprised, was told by Minister for Panchayats M.K. Muneer that the result could be obtained in 24 hours from the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM), Kunnamangalam.

E.K. Vijayan, MLA, complained of the poor quality of drinking water supplied to Nadapuram. KWA officers said ‘the water was pure, but the people were responsible for contaminating it by dumping wastes.’