THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: If things go as planned, packaged drinking water from the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) will hit the market by February. After years of delays and uncertainty, the packaged drinking water project of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) at Aruvikkara is turning into a reality.
The Water Resources Minister K Krishnankutty on Friday informed the Legislative Assembly that the project has reached a stage where it can be inaugurated and commercial production started by February 2019. According to the minister, the project can be commissioned once the clearance from various governments, the Bureau of Indian Standards and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India are obtained. Electricity connection also is awaited, the minister said.
KWA had mooted the project 11 years ago. Though a fresh administrative sanction was given in 2013, the project soon found itself knee-deep in controversy. Recently, the project hit another roadblock after then Additional Chief Secretary (Water Resources) Tom Jose objected to giving administrative sanction for the plant. The senior officer had reportedly opposed it saying packaged water business did not come under the responsibilities of KWA. The controversy further delayed the project, but the government had decided to proceed. The plant will have the capacity of 7,200 litres per hour. The water will be sold in 500 ml and one, two and 15-litre bottles.
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 current project was accorded administrative sanction in October 2013. Although the project was tendered on time, the work could not be started as the government did not receive a favourable bid. In 2015, the project was divided into three packages - civil, electrical and mechanical - and re-tendered.
Krishnankutty informed the Assembly on Friday that a trial run was conducted on April 12 this year. So far, the government has spent Rs 13.4 crore on the project. KWA has been instructed to present a report on marketing possibilities of the project and future activities.
KWA had mooted the project 11 years ago. Though a fresh administrative sanction was given in 2013, the project found itself knee-deep in controversy. Recently, then Additional Chief Secretary Tom Jose objected to giving administrative sanction for the plant