KOCHI: The Kerala State Human Rights Commission, in a recent order, has directed the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) Managing Director to see that steps are taken to ensure proper drinking water facility to the West Kochi region. The KSHRC Chairperson Justice J B Koshy issued the directive while disposing of a petition submitted by K Govindan Nampoothiry, a resident of Mattancherry area. In his petition, Govindan Nampoothiry told the Commission that the people of Edakochi, Palluruthy, Konam, Perumpadappu, Fort Kochi and Mattancherry have been facing severe shortage of potable water. The petitioner said that pipeline bursts are a major cause behind disruption of water supply and he has sought the Commission’s intervention to ensure proper drinking water facilities to West Kochi region.
“Another reason for filing the petition is that the water supply pressure is very low in these area. It takes hours to get a bucket full of water. Moreover, because of the old and broken pipelines, dirt gets mixed with water and what we get through KWA pipe lines almost can’t be used for drinking,” the petitioner said.
The main pipeline carrying water from the Perumanoor pump house to West Kochi is more than 40-years-old and is broken at many parts. The authorities had earlier mooted a `6 crore project to replace the worn-out pipes at Atlantis junction. The project, however, is yet to materialise. As per the official data, nearly 16 million litres of water is pumped through the line everyday. But the nearly worn out pipes cannot withstand the pressure of the heavy water flow. In order to solve this problem, the authorities are planning to lay 700 cm-wide ductile iron pipe instead of the old promo pipes for up to six kilometres. Four years back, the Minister for Water Resources P J Joseph had given administrative sanction for `11 crore project for the replacement of old pipes from Perumannur to Thevara and from Thoppumpady bridge to Karuvelipady. The decision was taken following strong protests from the councillors of the area. However, that plan too did not materialise.
Another hope for West Kochiites was the completion of the `201 crore Maradu water Treatment Plant project to solve the water crisis to some extent. But the delay in commissioning of the Maradu Plant has cast a shadow over their hopes.