Thiruvananthapuram

New water scheme for Varkala

Extra 28 mld by building dam on upper reaches of Vamanapuram river

The Kerala Water Authority (KWA) has drawn up plans for a ₹150-crore project meant to augment water supply in the thickly-populated Varkala municipality limits and neighbouring panchayats.

The success of the project, however, hinges on the Water Resources Department’s plans to ensure round-the-year storage in the Vamanapuram River where depleted water levels during summer have become a cause for concern.

The KWA has prepared the engineering report for the supply augmentation project which promises an additional 28 million litres a day (mld) to Varkala and nearby panchayats, Water Resources Minister K. Krishnankutty had informed the State Assembly in a written reply.

Steps are being taken to identify land for housing various components such as the treatment plant, according to the minister.

19 mld at present

At present, the KWA pumps 19 mld to Varkala municipality and six surrounding panchayats and 56 mld to Attingal municipality and 17 of its neighbouring panchayats utilising Vamanapuram river as the source.

The water intake for the supply augmentation project is planned at Karavaram, where the new treatment plant would be set up.

The project also involves the construction of new pipelines and tanks, a KWA official said.

At the same time, the feasibility of the project will depend on the success of a proposal to revive the shelved Vamanapuram Irrigation Project, which involves the construction of a storage dam in the upper reaches of the 88-km river, KWA officials said.

At present, there is no dam on this river which is characterised by a steep gradient.

The Irrigation Department has been asked to dust up the old DPR of the irrigation project and study the viability of a scaled-down version suited to contemporary requirements.

During the 2019 summer, the KWA had to temporarily discontinue many of its water supply schemes dependent on this river after water levels fell alarmingly. Large sections of the river had dried up, forcing KWA to declare water supply regulations in the region.

The KWA has also proposed the construction of check-dams in five locations on this river.

At Ayilamkadavu

The Irrigation Department is planning to construct the first one at Ayilamkadavu, a step that would benefit the Attingal municipality and five panchayats.

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 9:31:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/new-water-scheme-for-varkala/article29933743.ece

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