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Chandy calls for protection of all water sources

Staff Reporter
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District Collectors can sanction droughtrelief works up to Rs.20 lakh

Taking stock:Chief Minister Oommen Chandy reviewing drought relief measures in Pathanamthitta on Saturday.
Taking stock:Chief Minister Oommen Chandy reviewing drought relief measures in Pathanamthitta on Saturday.

The State is witnessing acute drought situation, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said. He was reviewing the drought relief measures in the district at a meeting at the collectorate conference hall here on Saturday.

Mr. Chandy said the government had first declared Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Wayanad, and Idukki districts as drought-affected. The other districts were declared drought-hit later.

He directed the authorities to protect all water sources, including water collected in granite quarries, to construct check dams in rivers, and popularise rain water harvesting as long-term projects. He said the people’s representatives should give a detailed report in this regard to the District Collector.

He said the Collectors would be empowered to sanction emergency drought-relief projects up to Rs.20 lakh.

The Chief Minister cleared a project, estimated at Rs.40 lakh, for utilising water collected in granite quarries, after purification using pressure filters. This is besides 36 projects worth Rs.2.10 crore for laying additional water lines to drought-hit areas in the district.

Mr. Chandy also directed the authorities to ensure prompt repair of all water supply schemes and to exempt the pumping stations from load-shedding. He said the Health Department authorities should ensure that drinking water supplied in tanker lorries was of good quality.

District Collector V.N. Jithendran said the government had sanctioned Rs.6.41 crore for drought relief in the district.

Adoor Prakash, Revenue Minister; P.J. Joseph, Water Resources Minister; K. Sivadasan Nair, Mathew T. Thomas, Raju Abraham, Chittayam Gopakumar, MLAs; Saji Chacko, district panchayat president; A. Sureshkumar, municipal chairman, and P. Vimaladitya, Superintendent of Police, also attended the meeting.

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