Drinking water shortage reported from many parts of the city
The stalemate regarding the implementation of a few drinking water supply projects for Kochi city and adjoining areas continues even as many parts of the city have gone dry.
It may take some more time to end the deadlock regarding the Piravam water supply scheme, which is expected to address the drinking water needs of the city. The pipelines for the water supply scheme could not be laid as opposition arose to the cutting open of a busy road in Piravam. A few meetings held earlier had failed to end the impasse. The Kochi corporation, the beneficiary of the scheme, has been persuading the authorities for an early settlement of the issue.
The water supply scheme, which is being implemented with the support of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, aims at bringing water from the Muvattupuzha River to the corporation areas, which will help in reducing the dependence on water from the Periyar.
“The authorities have been asked to study the feasibility of laying the pipelines along an alternative route by avoiding the newly tarred road,” said M. Vijayakumar, Minister for Public Works. The decision to study the feasibility of an alternative route was taken at the last meeting held to end the impasse. A final decision regarding the route would be taken after obtaining the feasibility report, he said.
As the uncertainty regarding the Piravam project continues, the civic authorities felt that the pumping of drinking water from the Aluva pump house of the Kerala Water Authority should be increased to meet the water demands of Kochi city and the adjoining areas. Drinking water shortage is acute in some parts of the city, including Kuvapadam, Chakkamadam, Aanavathil and Jew Street areas.
The corporation was supplying drinking water in tanker lorries to areas, from where water shortage was reported, said T.K. Ashraf, chairman, health standing committee of the Kochi corporation.
The corporation has initiated the paper works for inviting tenders for supplying drinking water in tanker lorries during the next fiscal. The contract for the current fiscal would end in March. The paper works for the next financial year were initiated in advance as notification for the Assembly polls may be issued in March or April. Once the notification is issued, it would not be possible to invite tenders for such schemes and it may affect the supply of drinking water. The proposal inviting tenders would come up for discussion at the next meeting of the corporation council, Mr. Ashraf said.
Government's support and intervention were required for the completion of the water supply scheme for West Kochi, which was supported by the UK Department for International Development, and the project for giving water to Palluruthy area using financial assistance from HUDCO, he said.