Committee demands probe into drinking water scheme for Kotagiri town

The Longwood Shola Watchdog Committee has urged the State government to order an investigation into a drinking water scheme for Kotagiri Town.

In a letter to Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, committee secretary K.J. Raju said the Halakkarai drinking water scheme was inaugurated in 2015 and was estimated to cost ₹10.60 crore.

In a reply to a Right to Information application a couple of months ago, the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board had stated that the final cost project was yet to be estimated for a drinking water project that was supposed to have been completed in 2018.

Also, an audit of the funds spent so far had not been done.

Mr. Raju faulted the choice of areas identified for storing water, saying that this posed the risk of landslips in the surrounding slopes also.

The Rifle Range wetland as a water source could be an alternative to the Halakkarai project, he said.

The wetland had enough water to meet Kotagiri’s demand for water for many decades, but was being neglected.

“There are four wells that have been dug in the wetland. However, these wells that were constructed at a cost of ₹20 lakh are not being used, as the local body officials claim that the water is not fit for drinking,” said Mr. Raju.

But, a few feet away, two more wells had been dug to supply water to Kotagiri town.

“This illustrates the fact that the other wells too can be used,” he said.

The committee has called upon the government to declare the Rifle Range wetland a protected swamp, and prevent further encroachments. It has also called for the removal of the eucalyptus trees around the wetland, pointing out that the trees were water guzzlers.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 5:38:17 PM |

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