Premachandran inspects water intake pumping station at Tholikode

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-aided Rs.295 crore Meenad drinking water scheme of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) will be commissioned by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan during the first week of February. The scheme will cover 13 grama panchayats and the Paravur municipal area in Kollam district.

As part of a pre-commissioning exercise, Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran inspected the water intake pumping station of the scheme on the banks of Kallada River at Tholikode and the water treatment plant at Panamkuttimala on Monday. After the inspection, he told presspersons that the trial run of the scheme was a success.

While transmission pipes had been laid and 14 storage tanks constructed, the supply will initially cover only five grama panchayats ? Karavallur, Anchal, Edamulakkal, Ummannur and Elamad. This is because the laying of distribution pipes in the other eight panchayats and Paravur town has not been completed.

?Inefficiency on the part of the contractor who was awarded the pipe laying work is responsible for the delay,? Mr. Premachandran said. Therefore, the eight panchayats and Paravur will be covered by the scheme in phases. The panchayats are Pooyapally, Veliyam, Mayyanad, Nedumpana, Adichanallur, Chirakara, Poothakulam and Chathannur.

More than five lakh persons stand to benefit from the scheme which covers an area of over 319 sq. km. Water is being distributed to beneficiaries at the rate of 100 litres a person living in panchayat areas and 150 litres a person living in Paravur town.

The treatment plant has the capacity to purify and supply 73 million litres of water a day. The water for supply will be pumped to the balancing reservoir situated above the plant by two 275 HP pumps. From there water will reach the entire coverage area by gravitational force, thereby avoiding the use of electricity.

Two 970 HP pumps at the intake station will pump water from Kallada River to the treatment plant situated 120 m above and 1.5 km away from the intake station. The scheme has a transmission pipe network of 80 km and a distribution pipe network of 920 km.

For a period of two years from its commissioning, the operation and maintenance of the scheme will remain with the contracting company. Only after that will the scheme come under the full control of the KWA. During the interim period, KWA officials would only be part of the operation and maintenance process led by the contracting company, Mr. Premachandran said.

The administrative office of the scheme will be at Valakam. The entire operations of the scheme will be managed by a centralised computerised system from Valakam and Panamkuttimala.

Mr. Premachandran said that Meenad was one among the five water supply schemes of the State aided by JICA. The other schemes are Thruvananthapuram (partially commissioned), Cherthala, Kozhikode and Pattuvam (Kannur).

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