G. Prabhakaran

Tanker lorry services in areas with piped supply

Waste of resources in drought conditions: KWA

KWA has commissioned new water projects

PALAKKAD: While Palakkad district is reeling under acute water scarcity and drought conditions, the Revenue Department is continuing its tanker lorry drinking water supply to Chittur taluk in spite of the fact that the area receives drinking water from the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) scheme.

Sources said the KWA officials had informed the District Collector to conserve potable water and plug the drain of public exchequer due to the operation of tanker services to Chittur taluk. However, the Revenue Department is continuing the service.

KWA officials told The Hindu that the simultaneous operation of two water supply systems was a waste of resource.

Most water sources in the district had dried up and the drought conditions would continue till the next monsoon in June. So, there was no point in wasting drinking water, they said.

The Revenue Department has so far spent nearly Rs.400 lakh in Chittur taluk on the tanker service, which has allegedly became a lucrative business for tanker lorry contractors.

KWA officials said all four water supply projects taken up by the Water Authority in different grama panchayats had been successfully completed and commissioned. A comprehensive water supply scheme to Perumatty and Pattencherry panchayats will be completed by the end of this month.

As for Plachimada and adjoining colonies in Perumatty and Pattencherry panchayaths, a mini-water supply scheme was commissioned last week. The project cost of Rs.32 lakh was met with funds under the Backward Regions Grant Fund programme and the decentralised Plan fund of the district panchayat.

Earlier, the KWA had extended the utility of its CWRSS to Kozhinjamapara and Eruthempathy and the critically water stressed areas like Pothickal, Ellappittankovil, Rajeev Nagar area using Calamity Relief Fund of Rs.23 lakh.

In Vadakarapathy panchayath, a mini-water supply scheme was commissioned in Kozhippara 4 Cent Colony. Similarly, in Kottapallam and Parayampallam SC Colonies in Muthalamada Panchayath, the utility of KWA's scheme to Kollengode has been extended using the Plan fund of Kollengode block panchayat.

Though piped water supply schemes have been commissioned in Perumatty and Pattencherry panchayats, tanker lorry services still continue.

The cumulative water charge arrears due to KWA by the Revenue Department towards water supplied to tanker lorries comes to Rs.50 lakh, officials said.