THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After years of delays, the packaged potable water project of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) is finally turning into a reality. The machinery for the water bottling plant arrived in Aruvikkara last week and installation is expected to begin soon. “The contractor said the installation could take 20 days, perhaps it might go a week or so beyond that,’’ KWA managing director A Shainamol said. Company experts who will supervise the installation of the plant machinery are expected to arrive in Thiruvananthapuram by March 15, a senior KWA official said. The official stand of the Water Resources Department is that the remaining work can be completed by April 30.
Ninety-six per cent of civil works in connection with the ambitious project has been completed and 65 per cent of the electrical works also is over. The plant will have the capacity of 7,200 litres per hour. The original plan was to bring out 500 ml and one, two and 15-litre bottles. “Once the plant becomes operational, we have to submit a bottled water sample to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for certification. Only then can we roll out the product in the market. This might take another two to three months,” Shainamol said.
The government is yet to decide on the price of the bottled water, though. The project was originally conceived in 2007 as part of the KWA’s efforts to bridge the ever-widening gap between income and expenditure, the ambitious project has gone through years of delays before it was hauled back on track. The current project was accorded administrative sanction in October 2013.
In 2015, the project was divided into three packages - civil, electrical and mechanical - and re-tendered. Further delays awaited the project as trees had to be chopped down on the project site and utilities like electric poles shifted. There were also delays from the contractor’s side. The glitches also spurred the allegation that the KWA was deliberately delaying the project to help private parties.
KWA’s bottled water plant project turning a reality
Plant machinery has arrived in Aruvikkara
Plant will have a capacity of 7,200 litres per hour
Price not decided yet