The government has expedited the work on water supply schemes and temporary check dams under plans to tackle the possibility of water scarcity during the summer ahead.
Water Resources Minister Mathew T. Thomas informed the Assembly on Wednesday that the work on 18 drinking water supply schemes would be completed by March-April. As many as 94 works, mostly involving the construction of temporary check dams, were in progress, he said while replying to a calling attention motion moved by C. Divakaran in the House.
The Minister said the storage position in reservoirs was better compared to the situation last year, though less than the 10-year average. “With inflow into reservoirs slowing down, the focus has shifted to conservation of drinking water sources and prevention of salinity intrusion. Efforts are on to repair pumps and motors, plug leakages in distribution lines and provide reverse osmosis filters to tap the water stored in abandoned quarries,” he said.
He said the Chief Minister had already convened a meeting of District Collectors to discuss the water supply situation. “With several parts of the State experiencing parched conditions, efforts are on to identify alternative drinking water sources and arrange supply in tanker lorries.” Mr. Thomas said temporary water connections would be regulated.
Earlier, moving the motion, Mr. Divakaran said large parts of the State were experiencing acute drinking water scarcity even before the summer had set in. The worsening situation could even lead to riots, he said, urging the government to ensure proper coordination between the Kerala Water Authority, the irrigation, groundwater wings and Jala Nidhi.