Pumping station work for new water scheme to begin soon

Nearly five years after the launch of construction work of a new drinking water scheme for the five wards added to the Tiruchi corporation a few years ago, the civic body is likely to start the construction of a pumping station on the Cauvery riverbed near Melur in February.

The State government accorded administrative sanction for the project in 2015 and civil works began in 2016. A sum of ₹63.70 crore was allotted for the project, aimed at supplying 135 litres of drinking water per head to the residents of 61, 62, 63, 64 and 65 wards in Tiruverumbur, Kattur , and adjoining areas. The project was divided into three phases - construction of pumping station; construction of overhead tanks; and laying of mains and distribution lines so as to complete the works as early as possible.

It was proposed to construct a pumping station on the Cauvery riverbed near Melur. A pumping main was to be laid across the river up to a point near Kambarasampettai so as to carry water to Tiruverumbur through pipes. It was planned to be completed by 2018. The civic body could not start the head works on time due to stiff opposition from farmers in Melur and delay in getting the no-objection certificate from the Public Works Department for drawing water from the Cauvery riverbed. The farmers had apprehended that the plan would deplete the groundwater.

After frantic efforts, the civic body received the approval in 2018. Though more than two-and-a-half years have passed since then, the head work has not been started yet, triggering criticism from the residents of Tiruverumbur and Kattur. Though the officials cited water flow on the Cauvery river as the main reason for the delay in launching the head work, the residents blamed official apathy. They went on to stage demonstrations on several occasions, demanding early completion of the project.

It is learnt that Corporation officials have asked the contractor to position his men and machinery to start the headworks in February.

An official told The Hindu that all hurdles on starting the pumping station had been cleared. A note had been sent to the Collector. There should not be flow of water on the river for carrying out the works. In normal circumstances, discharge of water should have been stopped by this time. But the water flow continued mainly due to the unseasonal rain. However, it is hoped that the flow will dwindle within this month and the work would start in February.

Since chances of the opening of Mettur dam on June 12 for irrigation are bright, the contractor has been instructed to expedite the work.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 8:55:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/pumping-station-work-for-new-water-scheme-to-begin-soon/article33611384.ece

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