JICA Water Supply For 84,000 More People From Month-End
By July-end, water supply from a project assisted by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the State capital is all set to reach 84,000 more people, at least 30 per cent of whom will get piped water for the first time.
This major boost in water supply comes with the commissioning of the project in two zones of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA), Powdikonam and Vattiyurkavu, probably in the latter half of this month. These two will be the first of the total of seven zones to be commissioned, KWA authorities said.
In the Vattiyurkavu zone that caters to 19,000 people, mostly from the Vattiyurkavu ward and surrounding areas, the commissioning process was only a formality since work had been completed here and the supply was unofficially on in some areas, the authorities said.
The zone has two overhead tanks, one of 13.4 lakh litres at Nettayam and the other of 10 lakh litres at Malamugal.
In the Powdikonam zone, which caters to 65,000 people, there are two tanks — a ground-level tank with 72 lakh-litre capacity and an overhead tank of 10 lakh-litre capacity.
While the bigger tank is expected to be the source for areas such as Powdikonam, Kariyam and Sreekaryam up to Technopark, the smaller tank will cater to slightly elevated areas, including Andoorkonam.
Most of the work in the zone had been completed, and the flushing and disinfection of the 75-km pipeline network was in progress. This was expected to be over in 10 days, the officials said.
Ashok Kumar Singh, Managing Director, KWA, said people from areas such as Sreekaryam, Powdikonam, Vattiyurkavu, and PTP Nagar would no more have to complain about water shortage once these two zones were commissioned.
As for the remaining zones, the Attukal zone had only an interconnection work with the old pipeline network extending from the Iranimuttom reservoir pending. With the earlier contractors backing out of the precision work, tenders had been re-issued. In the Thiruvallam zone, however, the KWA had ensured that water was already in the tank. The interconnection and distribution network here had to be done under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme. This was yet to be taken up.
Similar was the case at Nemom. One of the reasons cited for the delay by the JNNURM officials was a jump in road restoration charges that took the cost estimate from Rs.14 crore to Rs.42 crore.
Meanwhile, a solution to land acquisition near a cemetery and the refusal of permission from Railways to take pipes underneath a railway line in one zone remain major hurdles to the completion of the project, in which the KWA role is expected to be over by May 2013.