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Funds promised to bring more villages under water supply

Special Correspondent
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KWA finalises 34 proposals for extending existing pipeline

Drought relief:Chief Minister Oommen Chandy addressing a drought review meeting at the district panchayat hall in Kannur on Thursday.— PHOTO: S.K. MOHAN
Drought relief:Chief Minister Oommen Chandy addressing a drought review meeting at the district panchayat hall in Kannur on Thursday.— PHOTO: S.K. MOHAN

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that the government will allocate funds for completing Kerala Water Authority’s (KWA) technically feasible proposals for pipeline extension to expand the area of water supply in the rural areas in the district as part of drought-relief measures.

The Chief Minister told a meeting held here on Thursday to review the drought-relief measures taken that the KWA had already finalised 34 proposals for extending the existing pipeline. These proposals envisaging a pipeline extension of a total 125 km was estimated at Rs.12.6 crore and was expected to benefit 10,000 households. He said that if the KWA could submit a report to the government by Friday, special fund would be sanctioned for carrying out the work.

New pipeline

The Chief Minister announced that work on the Rs.29-crore project for replacing the existing water distribution pipeline in the Kannur municipal area had already been awarded.

Mr. Chandy said that as the State was now experiencing serious drought situation, panchayats had been given permissive sanction till May 31 for utilising up to Rs.5 lakh for work relating to water supply. The municipalities could spend up to Rs.10 lakh. The local bodies lacking own funds could utilise unspent funds in the last fiscal, he said.

Shortage of vehicles for supplying water being a major problem, the District Collector was given total freedom to take a decision on fixing rates for hiring the vehicles. A decision had already been taken to reschedule load-shedding in areas having water supply pumping facilities and treatment plants, to ensure that power disruption would be during a fixed time every day. The Chief Minister said that the government’s clear message was that water should be supplied in vehicles wherever there was water shortage. In a bid to avoid delay in the work tendering process, the government had allowed the departments and agencies concerned to adopt limited tender till May 31 to complete the process of awarding work related to water supply in three days.

Mr. Chandy said that administrative sanction for water supply-related work estimated at Rs.20 lakh each could be given at the district level till May 31.

He said top priority would be given for repairing and replacing damaged shutters of the barrage of Pazhassi reservoir.



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