No bid to privatise drinking water supply in Kochi: Minister

Roshy Augustine says KWA will continue with meter reading, billing, revenue collection, tariff fixing, and distribution

Updated - July 11, 2024 08:10 am IST

Published - July 11, 2024 12:04 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and state Minister for Water Resources Roshy Augustine in Thiruvananthapuram. File photo

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and state Minister for Water Resources Roshy Augustine in Thiruvananthapuram. File photo | Photo Credit: PTI

Minister for Water Resources Roshy Augustine has denied any bid to privatise drinking water supply in Kochi.

Replying to a submission by G.S. Jayalal on concerns of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) employees and the public about the proposed ₹2,511-crore Kerala Urban Water Services Improvement Project (KUWSIP) in the Assembly on Wednesday, the Minister said there was no government or KWA move to privatise drinking water supply. There was no need to think that the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded project included conditions that were not present in the current water supply projects such as JICA or AMRUT. Similar ADB-funded projects had been implemented in other cities too.

It was the State government that would take loan from the ADB for the project, not the KWA directly. Water utility would continue with meter reading, billing, revenue collection, tariff fixing, and distribution. The government was going ahead with the project as it was imperative to address shortage of drinking water in Kochi.

As much as 325 millilitres of water was brought from Aluva and Maradu for distribution in Kochi. However, owing to leakage in old pipeline networks and water theft, only 50% of the supplied water was being billed. The initial phase of the project would address these problems. The project would include plants and tanks. The government would entrust the ADB with maintenance responsibility for 10 years. Monitoring would be done by the KWA.

To address drinking water problem completely, a 190-million litres per day (mld) treatment plant was needed in Aluva. Efforts were on to include the construction of the plant under the ₹2,511-crore KUWSIP project.

The Minister said the government had nothing to hide and hence, there was no need for apprehensions over the project. It was ready to hold discussions with employees and unions. All concerns about the project would be addressed before it was implemented, the Minister said.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.