KERALA

Ensuring safe drinking water a challenge: CM

The re-emergence of many diseases that were not heard of for a long time was a clear indication of the pollution of water and the environment, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday. He said that ensuring safe drinking water for the people was now a challenge before the government. He was addressing the inaugural function of the national conference, Safe Water Kerala 2014, organised by Kerala Water Authority (KWA) here. Mr. Chandy said only 30 per cent of the people in the State were getting piped water. He said the aim to supply piped water to all by 2021 could be realised only if the government, local self governments and the agencies work together to achieve the target.

“Supplying piped water to Kochi city with adequate infrastructure is a challenge because of the increasing population,” he said. A new project to tap the Periyar waters in a 180 mld plant was given administrative sanction last week. The project had an allocation of Rs.238.5 crores in the State budget. The government planned to complete the project in 18 months.

The project to supply water from the Maradu treatment plantwas likely to be completed by March 15, he said. P.J. Joseph, Minister for Water Resources, in his presidential address expressed his concern over water shortage in the State in spite of abundance of rain, rivers and other water resources like wells and ponds. For availability of water at all the pumping stations during summers, the government will be taking some temporary and permanent measures. Bunds and check dams would be built to address the issue. He said there was a need for cost-effective technology for water treatment.