The Aanakuzhi Lift Irrigation Project aimed at ensuring water supply in paddy fields at the Paingottoor panchayat has fizzled out thanks to the lack of planning and coordination among government departments.
Though the project was commissioned 20 years ago spending lakhs, it seems like all the resource and efforts have gone down the drain much to the dismay of farmers in the area.
The project was launched by the Water Resource Department to solve water scarcity for paddy fields at Chathamattam and Ottakkandam areas in Paingottoor panchayat. But, the area is still reeling under acute water shortage caused by the apathy of the authorities.As part of the project, a bund was constructed on the Chathamattam river. The department’s plan was to pump water to the paddy fields through the lifted canal. For this, the department had constructed the bund at Anakuzhi Kadav of the Chathamattam river and two canals were also built spending lakhs.
A 100 HP motor was also set up for pumping water to canals. However, the project became ‘defunct’ barely two weeks after its commissioning. Reason: Water pipes were damaged owing to its poor quality and leaks have been identified in the canals also. Later, the water pumping was permanently stopped. It is learnt that the main cause of the failure of the project is clear laxity of officials. There are allegations that the project was implemented without scientific study.
Interestingly, some officials appointed for the upkeep of the project, including a pump operator, were paid salaries even after the project became ‘defunct’.
The Water Resource Department also pays nearly `1.5 lakh as electricity bill per year for this ‘nonfunctional project’.
Joseph Vazhakkan said he has no clear idea on the issue. There is no written request or complaint regarding the project. Necessary steps will be taken after studying the project, he said.