Minister for Water Resources P. J. Joseph said here on Wednesday that raising of bunds and construction of protective barriers would be given importance under the irrigation component of Kuttanad Package.

Addressing a press conference here, the Minister said that works totalling Rs. 68 crore had been tendered. Technical sanction would be given shortly for works costing Rs. 379 crore. Rs. 248 crore would be spent for reviving the drainage system at Onattukara.

Mr. Joseph said that the Kerala Water Authority had completed 25 projects under the 100 days action plan, mostly in Kasaragod, Idukki, Malappuram and Thiruvananthapuram districts. The inauguration water supply scheme for Kannur Town would be inaugurated on October 1. The schemes for Pattuvam and Cherthala schemes would be commissioned in December.

The old pipeline supplying water from Aruvikkara to Thiruvananthapuram would be replaced at a cost of Rs. 50 crore. Raising of the water level of the Peppara reservoir supplying water to the city by six metres was under active consideration of the government. Discussions were underway with the Forest Department in this regard.

He said that a toll free number would be set up by Water Authority to receive consumer complaints. Fast track adalats would be conducted to clear pending files.

He said that 42 lift irrigation projects had been completed under the minor irrigation section and 76 works were in progress. The Malampuzha garden was being renovated.

Mr. Joseph also said that the work on the second phase of Jalanidhi project would start soon. Talks with the World Bank, which is funding the project, were over. The project would benefit 20 lakh people in 200 panchayats.