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Tapping quarries in search of water

Dennis Marcus Mathew
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KWA to set up micro-filters in quarries in the district on an experimental basis

The Kerala Water Authority (KWA), as part of its efforts to identify water sources to tide over the drought situation, is looking at the installation of micro-filters in unused water bodies, mainly quarries.

The system, to be executed by the public utility, will be tested on an experimental basis in Thiruvananthapuram, where a couple of quarries have been identified for the purpose, and then implemented by mid-March.

KWA Managing Director Ashok Kumar Singh told The Hindu that the KWA had given administrative sanction for the proposal, and the initial work was on.

Apart from those in Thiruvananthapuram, three quarries had been identified in and around Ernakulam district, mainly in Angamaly.

On the other preparations to face the drought situation, Mr. Singh said the drinking water situation in Thiruvananthapuram city was ‘comfortable,’ with its water sources, mainly the Peppara dam and the Aruvikkara reservoir, having adequate water for about 85 days.

However, the situation in surrounding areas, particularly the Neyyattinkara taluk, was ‘stressful.’ Plans were afoot to construct check dams, clean wells, de-silt water sources, and replace defunct water pumps and motors.

Water supply outlet

Water supply outlets would be opened at various spots, depending on the situation. The city’s outlet would be located at PTP Nagar, Mr. Singh said.

The water supply situation in neighbouring districts, particularly Kollam, was of concern, he said, adding that the KWA had started restricting water supply there to alternate days. There was a proposal to draw water from the Kallada river via the KIP Canal to Sasthamcotta Lake for re-charging the lake. The Rs.2.5-crore proposal was floated by the Irrigation Department and would be put into motion soon.

Another proposal was to lay 250-mm pipes on a five-km stretch to draw three million litres of water a day from the Kottiyam tank to the Kollam tank.

Meanwhile, according to a communiqué from Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash, Thiruvananthapuram district has been allotted Rs.12.47 crore from the State Disaster Management Fund to tide over the crisis. The money is to be used to augment drinking water supply and related measures. The amount sanctioned for the State is Rs.85 crore.

This includes Rs.24 crore for water source improvement and Rs.27 crore for repair and replacement of pump sets/electrical installations, an allotment of Rs.13 crore to the Ground Water Department, and Rs.22 crore to the Irrigation Department to ensure necessary precautions in districts, including Thiruvananthapuram which is classified one among the four severely hit districts.

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