To address water scarcity in some areas

In the face of an acute water shortage in the capital city, the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) has put together a Rs.3-crore scheme to lay an additional water line from Vellayambalam to the Observatory Hill reservoir so that additional water can be made available to areas serviced by that reservoir.

Once another pipeline is laid from Vellayambalam to Observatory Hill, the existing line in that area can be connected to the pipe coming from the Thirumala reservoir so that water can be pumped from there to Observatory Hill.

More water

“Thanks to the JICA scheme, the Thirumala reservoir is now water-rich. Though there is a pipe coming from Thirumala to Vellayambalam, it does not reach our compound. So water cannot be pumped from Thirumala to Observatory. It is my calculation that once an additional line is laid, we will be able to reach 20 mld more to Observatory Hill,” executive engineer of KWA's Thiruvananthapuram PH division V. Chandran told The Hindu .

Devising the project, as far as the KWA is concerned, is the easy part. The significant part is deciding on the route of the pipeline from Vellayambalam.

One option is to lay the line from the Vellayambalam junction to the Keltron junction beneath the main road. However, this will mean digging up the arterial road; there will be no traffic on this road till it is re-tarred.

The second option is to lay the line through the Keltron compound, making a crossing at the Manaveeyam road and extending the pipeline to the premises of the KWA. In this scenario, there will be no need to dig up roads; for the short crossing on the Manaveeyam road, the KWA can go for a ‘trenchless' laying of the pipe.

Either way, the KWA has to make a call on the matter very soon. By the authority's estimate, there is a 40 million litres per day-gap between demand and supply on the piped drinking water front. This has seriously affected elevated areas and even those places that did not hitherto have a water shortage. For many high-rise apartments in the city, reliance on water supply through tanker lorries is near-total.

Other plans

The KWA also plans to connect one line bringing water from Aruvikkara directly to the distribution system of the Observatory zone, thus bypassing the reservoir. This, KWA officials estimate, will immediately boost the quantum water in the distribution lines. A similar arrangement will be made for the Peroorkada reservoir too, KWA officials said.

  • Pipeline to be laid from Vellayambalam to Observatory Hill

  • 40 mld gap between demand and supply of drinking water