KWA's abandoned water projects to be revived
The abandoned Kerala Water Authority (KWA) drinking water projects will be revived by Jalanidhi, the rural water supply and sanitation agency of the state government, through sectoral development wherein a group of panchayats will get the benefits from a single water source.
As part of the efforts to become a role model in implementing unique projects, a group of panchayats will be selected to provide drinking water to households. Jalanidhi will entrust an agency with task of studying the domestic water supply and sanitation levels in the state to select the local bodies where the Jalanidhi projects could be implemented in the next phase.
Jalanidhi executive director T Bhaskaran said that through the revival of the abandoned projects of the KWA, water could be made available to more areas. While the quality of water and pumping would be maintained by the KWA, the Jalanidhi will supply the water to the households.
‘The first multi-grama panchayat drinking water distribution project work will be inaugurated next week at Oorakam and Vengara areas with the inclusion of five panchayats. The same model will be executed in areas in Mala also,’ Bhaskaran said.
The World Bank-aided project of Jalanidhi will be implemented at a cost of `1,022 crore in which 75 per cent of the expenditure will be borne by the World Bank, 15 per cent by the grama panchayat and 10 per cent by the beneficiary. In the first phase, 112 panchayats benefited from the project and the second phase has started.
A total of 200 panchayats will benefit from the project which is expected to be completed by 2017. The multi-grama panchayat water distribution is included in the second phase wherein more than 2,000 households will benefit from a single water source.
According to Bhaskaran, as this is a World Bank-aided project, the innovations in the state will be evolved as a role model to be implemented in other states and abroad. The abandoned drinking water projects of the KWA and the sanitation level in the state will be identified through a study and projects suitable to each area will be developed.
In some areas, which were selected for safe drinking water projects, the works are getting delayed due to the non-availability of funds by the local bodies, which is 15 per cent of the total cost. The beneficiary’s share is 10 per cent, of which five per cent can be given as work force for the project.
Kerala Grama Panchayat Association president Mathew P T said that the Jalanidhi projects are being implemented following the requests of the panchayats to meet the drinking water and sanitation requirements. They may not have a clear knowledge on the funding and when the projects get cleared, they are forced to divert the funds earmarked for other development activities.
There are several financially backward panchayats which do not have sufficient funds to meet the requirements of the Jalanidhi project.
The association will hold discussions with the local bodies to overcome the crisis, he added.