Kochi

Water tanker operators continue to skip KWA plants

According to Water Tanker Owners’ Association, around 2,000 loads of water are being brought to the city everyday.

According to Water Tanker Owners’ Association, around 2,000 loads of water are being brought to the city everyday.   | Photo Credit: H_Vibhu

Operation Pure Water hits rough weather as tankers continue to bank on wells; KWA hydrants not meeting demand, they say

Operation Pure Water, aimed at providing potable water to all, seems to have hit rough weather, with water tankers continuing to collect water from wells.

Reviewing the status of water availability in the district, the Assembly Committee on Petitions headed by K.B. Ganesh Kumar had directed tanker operators to collect water only from pump houses operated by the Kerala Water Authority (KWA). It was to ensure that quality water was supplied in the district.

Accordingly, the KWA set up 10 hydrants each at its Aluva and Maradu treatment plants from which tankers could collect water, besides installing 32 hydrants at pump houses across the district.

Ironically, there are few takers for water supplied by the KWA. Except for three to four days when around 400 loads of water in varying capacity of tankers were collected from the Aluva plant two weeks ago, less than 50 loads are being collected from the plant now.

As regards Maradu, around 80 loads, with an average of 25,000 litres per load, are being collected, while from the Perumannoor pump house, nearly 50 loads of water averaging 10,000 litres a load, are drawn. However, according to Water Tanker Owners’ Welfare Association secretary R. Ramachandran, around 2,000 loads are being brought to the city everyday, with a majority of consumers being hotels, malls, apartments, and the High Court. He said besides the KWA pump houses, water was being supplied from wells too. It is learnt that the purity of water drawn from wells has to be ensured by the owner.

Accessible

The new hydrants located in easily accessible positions at the Aluva plant can fill a large tanker of 36,000 litre capacity in 15 minutes. Four old hydrants are also being used to fill smaller takers as they take more time.

However, only 14 tankers had reached the Aluva plant on Thursday till noon. The usual collection from hydrants at the plant before the launch of Operation Pure Water averaged around 30.

The Assembly Committee had been particular that the imperative of drawing water from KWA hydrants was not negotiable. Though the officer in charge of Operation Pure Water did not respond to queries on the purity of water drawn from wells, it is learnt that the district administration had allowed tanker operators to collect water from wells till January 30, saying that the KWA had not been able to vend water to meet the demand, besides backing the operators’ claim that drawing water from KWA hydrants was time-consuming.

No shortage

However, it was found that except for a day when a KSEB cable broke down, resulting in a plant shutdown for around three hours, there was no shortage of water at KWA plants, and that the new hydrants were efficient enough to fill a 36,000-litre tank in 15 minutes. The cost of KWA water is ₹600 for 10,000 litres.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 10:32:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/water-tanker-operators-continue-to-skip-kwa-plants/article30648033.ece

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