Kochi in the grip of water scarcity

20-litre water dispenser becomes a necessity in several city households

Updated - March 28, 2016 05:38 am IST

Published - March 28, 2016 12:00 am IST - Kochi:

Alappuzha, 27/03/16.  Water tanker supplying drinking water at Chilavannoor where there is acute shortage of water  Photo;H.Vibhu.

Alappuzha, 27/03/16. Water tanker supplying drinking water at Chilavannoor where there is acute shortage of water Photo;H.Vibhu.

In many parts of the city, households are forced to buy drinking water at least twice a week because the pipes run dry. The 20-litre water dispenser has become more of a necessity in several city households.

Though the city has two river sources supplying water after the commissioning of the Maradu water treatment plant under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), it remains parched in quite a few areas.

However, senior officials of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) maintained that there was 24x7 supply in most parts of the city and it was affected mostly in Cheranalloor and West Kochi, the former at the tail-end of the distribution system and the latter with inherent supply and distribution problems.

West Kochi continues to experience short supply, with not even a total of 40 million litres supplied to Fort Kochi, Palluruthy, Chellanam, Kumbalanghi and Thoppumpady. Water is supplied only for six hours a day.

A city resident said the supply from the Thammanam sump had been so poor over the last 15 days that he had to use a motor to pump in water to his storage sump. Earlier, there was regular supply on alternate days. But with the recent break in supply due to pipe-replacement and a pipe burst, certain parts of the city had not got water for the last 15 to 20 days. There are many commercial establishments and individuals using motors to pump in water as the pressure is poor. For the water to flow into their pipeline on its own, after all the intermittent users have filled their storage tanks, it would take almost 20 days.

The residents at the tail-end of the distribution network such as those in Chilavannoor have been facing such acute water shortage.

In Elamakkara, the KWA found roots growing in old AC pipes, blocking the supply.

There have also been power supply issues that affect pumping in certain areas. A break in pumping creates a gap in supply that gets corrected very slowly, said the official.

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