Efforts are under way on a war footing to meet the potable water demand in all areas of Karur district during the summer. Coupled with the long and frequent power cuts, the task appears all the more daunting as the district administration and the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board race towards meeting the requirements of the people.

Priority is being accorded to get continuous power supply to the pumping and booster stations that keep the combined water supply schemes going.

There are a total of 2,238 habitations in Karur district of which 1,431are being provided potable water supply through combined water supply schemes. While the pumps at the head works could be kept on by juggling three-phase power supply for at least 10 to 11 hours a day, the wayside booster stations and pumping stations could not be made operational in unison to take water to the tail-end areas owing to varying duration of power cuts in the intermittent areas.

That resulted in people in the tail-end areas, where water could not be supplied, becoming restive and taking recourse to agitations demanding supply. With the power outage getting longer and frequent, the summer presented a horrendous task for the TWAD Board officials to keep the public happy by providing adequate water supply in a district where many areas have been getting potable water once in a week or even less. There are complaints that in parts of Karur town, water supply has been erratic for several years now resulting in people taking to the streets with empty pot every now and then.

It was in these circumstances that the district administration decided to tide over the water crisis with coordinated help from TANGEDCO that could complement the efforts of the TWAD Board. Accordingly, to get 24-hour uninterrupted and exclusive three-phase power supply through drawing the fourth wire from the power substations to the booster stations, the TWAD Board sanctioned Rs. 6.35 crore to cover 34 locations. Work was under way to establish the uninterrupted power connectivity in those areas, Collector V. Shobana told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Similarly for the year 2012-13, the TWAD Board had identified 14 locations for establishing uninterrupted power supply at a cost of Rs. 2.16 crore and proposals had been forwarded to Chennai for the purpose, TWAD Board Executive Engineer T. Sivasankar said.

That apart, for replacing old pump set motors at five pumping stations, Rs. 8.33 lakh had been sanctioned and work was under way. In another five locations, the TWAD Board had planned to replace damaged pipelines at a cost of Rs. 85 lakh besides which plans were afoot to establish a new pumping station at a cost of Rs. 25 lakh, Ms. Shobana said.

As regards fresh water supply schemes, Ms. Shobana said that a new scheme to benefit a population of 33,000 residing in 40 habitations in Andankoil East, West and Pallapalayam panchayats at cost of Rs. 6.4 crore had been okayed while another scheme to quench the thirst of 27,000 population covering Manmangalam and 71 other habitations at an estimated cost of Rs. 2.43 crore granted. The tendering process was on for the two schemes, Ms. Shobana added.

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