Acute water scarcity in Ramanthali panchayat

: It is yet another summer of woes for the people of Ramanthali panchayat in Kannur district as they reel under water scarcity with the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) finding it difficult to pump water as the source of water has gone nearly dry.

Several parts of the panchayat have been under the grip of severe water scarcity for the past few weeks. The KWA has stopped pumping

water owing to the lean flow in the Kakkadavu river, the main source of water for the panchayat and the Indian Naval Academy at

Ezhimala and the regional training centre of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at Peringome.

The KWA pipeline to Ramanthali panchayat is a branch line of the main pipeline to the INA, which alone requires 30 lakh to 40 lakh litres of water a day. As the pumping was disrupted due to the lean flow of water in the river, the INA was collecting water in their tanker lorries from two points of the Orta Pattuvam Water Supply project funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.

The CRPF camp also sources water in their tanker lorries.

The residents facing acute shortage of water are those at Ezhimala Top, Kakkampara, Paraththikkad, Onaparamba, Chittadi and Mottakkunnu. Water from the river to the panchayat is normally stored in three tanks for supply having a total storage capacity of 10.5 lakh litre water. M. Chandran, a resident at Parathikkad, said these areas are undergoing drought situation as there is no water, not just drinking water. The other parts in the panchayat experience potable water scarcity, he added.

The only glimmer of hope for the residents of these areas is the heavy summer rains the upstream areas of the river received in the past two days. An employee of the KWA who is operating the pump said there was slight improvement in the flow of water in the river on Monday. The river as it looks now has water to be pumped for a couple of days, he informs.

A KWA engineer based in Payyannur said the proposed permanent dam across the Kakkadavu river is the only solution to the water shortage problem in the panchayat and nearby areas.

The proposal for constructing a 15-metre high dam across the river has been given administrative sanction by the government, she said.

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