G. Prabhakaran

KWA yet to give sanction for laying the pipeline

Administrative sanction was given in 2002

PALAKKAD: Plachimada at Perumatty panchayat which caught international attention for its fight against exploitation of scarce groundw ater by soft drink giant Coca Cola is up in arms again. This time against an ‘undue delay’ in giving technical sanction to a Rs.3-crore project that could solve the drinking water problem in the area. Even during monsoon, drinking water is supplied in the area in tanker lorries spending crores of rupees.

Muthalamthode Mani, general secretary, Deeseeya Karshaka Samajam, says the drinking water problem in the area could be solved if technical sanction is given to the comprehensive water supply scheme. It is to be given by the Chief Engineer, Kerala Water Authority (KWA), Kozhikode, Water Resources Department sources say. The project report had proposed to complete the work on the scheme in a year.

Though the State government had given administrative sanction for the scheme in 2002, it has been held up for six years because of the delay in getting the technical sanction for laying the main supply line, at a cost of Rs.2 crore, from the Kunnamkattupathy weir to the proposed overhead service reservoir at Kochikkad in Perumatty.

Out of the total expenditure of Rs.3 crore, the Chittur block panchayat has allotted Rs.1 crore from the Backward region grant agency fund and the rest by the State government under the Accelerated rural programme. District Collector K.S. Sreenivas has already taken up the matter with the government. Water Resources Secretary K. Jayakumar is understood to have written to the KWA about the inordinate delay.

The scheme is to utilise the perennial surface source of water impounded at the upstream of the newly constructed check-dam-cum- regulator at Kunnamkattupathy near the existing KWA’s intake well-cum- pump-house. According to the project report, “the scheme area is [in] the worst affected rain shadow region in Palakkad and the average annual rainfall is very low here. The Central Groundwater Board has identified Chittur block as one of the most critically affected regions in Kerala where groundwater potential has depleted to alarmingly lower levels.”