Staff Reporter

Houses damaged in rock blasting: residents

50 per cent work over, says JICA

Kozhikode: Several doubts were raised by those attending an Open Forum on the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-sponsored water supply scheme for Kozhikode city and adjoining areas. It was convened by the Kozhikode Sustainable Development Initiative (KSDI).

The JICA project had been severely criticised by various sections of society as the digging up of roads are causing many hardships. Environmentalists and residents of Peruvannamuzhi aired their concerns regarding damage caused to the Peruvannamuzhi dam and houses there due to rock blasting for the project's intake well construction.

Introducing the subject, KSDI president A. Achuthan said the dug-up roads had been causing many accidents. The same roads would soon be dug up again for laying sewage pipes, KSEB cables, etc., prolonging people's agony, he said. “We get 5-6 months of rain and so we should preserve groundwater sources. What if the Kuttiady river, the source for the JICA project, dries up,” asked Shobheendran, a Professor.

A representative of the Association of Graduate Engineers asked about the probability of transmission pipes bursting and whether similar projects had been implemented successfully elsewhere. Abhraham Benhur alleged that a mafia comprising politicians, engineers and contractors had pushed the project through for financial gains despite opposition from several quarters.

Replying to questions, JICA project director T.C. Subran said similar projects had been implemented successfully in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Over 50 per cent of the work on the project was complete, he added.