No plan to privatise water supply, says Joseph

Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph said here on Thursday that the State government did not have any plans to privatise water delivery service in the State.

Delivering the presidential address at the World Water Day celebrations organised by the Water Resources Department, Mr. Jospeh said that water delivery was a public utility service which the government did not wish to privatise.

Mr. Joseph said that the government had taken up a host of schemes to deal with water scarcity in the State and extend water delivery system to all parts of the State. “The government has already initiated steps to conserve public ponds, lakes and other water sources and convert them to valuable water resources. Within the next one year public ponds and lakes in 1,000 grama panchayats in the State will be conserved,” he said.

The Minister said that steps had also been taken to focus on rainwater harvesting. Rainwater harvesting tanks would be made mandatory for all newly constructed houses and institutions and innovative techniques would be developed to tap rainwater.

“Watershed-based agriculture is another important sector that will help in ensuring proper water management in agriculture sector and also help in increasing the water retention capacity of soil,” he said.

Mr. Joseph added that the Water Resources Department had taken steps to expedite works of water supply projects. As part of this, the minimum period to start work on tendered projects had been decreased from 18 months to six months, he said.

Labour Minister Shibu Baby John inaugurated the World Water Day celebrations of the Department. Social Welfare Department Minister M.K. Muneer launched the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) of Kerala Water Authority at the function.

Water Resources Department Principal Secretary V.J. Kurian, World Bank senior water engineer Martin Gambrillwere present.Inaugurating the programme Mr. Shibu Baby John said that Kerala needed an integrated approach in water resource management and food security to ensure equitable access for all.

Mr. Gambrill said that World Bank and KWA would soon launch the $ 250 million Jalanidhi 2 project which included new water supply distribution schemes as well solid and liquid waste management projects.

  • Rainwater harvesting to be made must for new buildings

  • $ 250 million Jalanidhi 2 project to be launched soon