West Kochiites will Have to Dream Water till December

Posted in: Global Water News, Water Crisis, Water shortage
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Article courtesy of TNN | September 27, 2014 | The Times of India | Shared as educational material

KOCHI: For the long-thirsty and suffering Kochiites, uninterrupted water supply is a good three months away. The new delay is not surprising for the Kerala water authority’s (KWA) Rs 210-crore Maradu water treatment plant which was to be originally completed in 2012.

The authority had failed to inaugurate the plant on May 10, the most recent deadline. But on Friday, water resources minister P J Joseph promised to commission the Maradu project in December.

This will be seen with some amount of scepticism by residents of Fort Kochi, Mattnacherry, Kumbalanghy, Chellanam, Thevara and Maradu, the main beneficiaries of the plant, as KWA still has some formidable challenges such as laying pipelines across railway lines in areas like Aroor and frequent pipe bursts on already completed stretches.

“As of now, only 10MLD water is being pumped from the plant. We will be able to increase pumping to 100MLD by next month. Transformers for augmenting the pumping will reach here by month-end,” he said.

At the meeting, water resources secretary V J Kurian admitted that laying pipelines across railway lines in the areas such as Aroor was a big issue. “It’s a big challenge before us. The laying of pipelines, except in Chellanam area, will be completed in October. In Chellanam, it will be completed in November,” Kurian said.

Meanwhile, Joseph also promised to start work on the Rs 238-crore Kalamassery drinking water project in January next year.

The state government has already given administrative sanction for the project and sanctioned Rs 238 crore. Around 15 acres of land in the HMT campus will be used for setting up the treatment plant at Kalamassery. This land is already in the possession of the state government. Measures will soon be taken to hand over the land for the project.

Water supply projects in Chowara and Choondy will be augmented to reduce supply from Aluva to suburbs. This would enable KWA to supply more water to the city from Aluva plant. Though the original capacity of the Chowara drinking water project is 63MLD, only 40MLD of water is generated from the plant now. Once the project runs at full capacity, additional water can be supplied to Vypeen islands. Similarly, though the capacity of Choondy project is 46MLD the plant generates only 28MLD. “We have allocated Rs 43 crore for changing transformers and asbestos cement (AC) pipes so as to ensure the project runs at full capacity,” Kurian said.

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