End to decade-long wait of people in 14 villages in Kannur

A water supply scheme waiting to be commissioned in a couple of weeks ending a long delay of over a decade is all set to cheer people living in 14 drought-hit villages in the district.

A longstanding dream of the people in the villages located in the panchayats of Anjarakkandy, Peralassery, Chembilode, Chelora, Muzhappilangad, Kadambur, Vengad, Pinarayi, Eranholi, and Kathirur, the Kerala Water Authority's drinking water scheme is almost ready for commissioning as its trial run is now under way.

The project nearly abandoned after it was stopped midway for want of funds took off in 2009 under a special package of financial assistance from the National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development.

The scheme with a revised project estimate of Rs.134 crore is being executed by the KWA Project Division at Mattannur. According to engineers in the division, the project is completed but for the distribution lines at Kadambur and Muzhappilangad.

That remaining work is expected to be completed in a week or two. The supply of water through the completed distribution lines is now under way on a trial basis.

The water supply project with a design period of 30 years envisages supply of protected water to the people living in the drought-hit areas in the panchayats. The project estimates supply of 70 lpcd (litres per capita per day) through street taps and house connections. It will replace the existing small water supply schemes functioning in these areas with open wells or bore wells as their sources of water.

The existing schemes serve only small areas in the panchayats where the majority of residents depend on local water sources that are either affected by salinity or polluted. With the commissioning of the scheme, they will be supplied potable drinking water.

LIC stops aid

The water supply scheme was originally conceived as a project to be completed under a financial assistance from the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). The original project cost was estimated at Rs. 75.12 crore. According to the KWA officials, the scheme was in a limbo when the LIC ceased to aid further.

As a result, only a part of the total project was completed utilising the finance provided by the LIC and the funds sanctioned by the State government. The total amount spent on the project when it was stopped midway was Rs.40.93 crore.

The scheme was sanctioned over a decade ago. The officials say that the project is all set to be commissioned – all its major components including the treatment plant, 12 service reservoirs and 171-km-long distribution lines have been completed.

When the project came to a standstill owing to shortage of funds, the scheme was placed among similar projects to be revived on the special financial assistance package from NABARD under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund for its completion.

The source of the scheme is an intake well-cum-pump house at Veliyambra in the Pazhassi reservoir.

  • Scheme estimated to cost Rs.134 crore

  • Project was taken up under special package of NABARD