Coastal areas reel under potable water shortage

KWA is yet to find permanent solution to address the issue; officials say most of the areas exist at tail-end of its distribution network

Published: 26th August 2019 03:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th August 2019 03:51 AM   |  A+A-

Severe water scarcity affects the residents of Vypeen island and coastal areas of Kochi | File Photo

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Despite the repeated complaints of residents of Chellanam, Njarakkal, Edavanakkad and Nayarambalam panchayats, which are facing acute drinking water shortage for decades, Kerala Water Authority (KWA) officials are yet to find a permanent solution.      

“Water shortage has always been plaguing Chellanam. Areas like Companypady and Thekkechellanam are badly affected. Pipelines to these areas are in a poor state. Besides, the  drop in the quantity of water in overhead tanks is also an issue. There is also a dip in the pressure during pumping. Although officials are aware of these issues, no one is ready to address it,” said T A Dalfine, general convener of Chellanam Theeradesha Vikasana Samithi.

In Edavanakkad, frequent power outages make water supply erratic. “The issues in the existing pipeline also affect distribution of water. Pumping from Chowara often gets delayed due to power outage. A permanent solution is yet to be found,” said K U Jeevan Mithra, president, Edavanakkad grama panchayat.  Njarakkal panchayat president Shilda Rebeiro said, “We are bearing the brunt of frequent leaks in the pipeline. Despite being surrounded by water, 25,000-odd residents of Njarakkal are living without safe drinking water. Construction of a water tank near the old village office has been stopped due to unavailability of contractors.” 

“We are facing issues related to drinking water distribution in western and southern parts of Nayarambalam. Whenever we raise the issue, KWA officials point at low voltage and other excuses. Instead of solving the issue, the officials are simply blaming others for their inefficiency,” said E P Shibu, president, Nayarambalam grama panchayat.      However, KWA officials pointed out that most of these areas exist at the tail-end of its distribution network. Therefore, they do not receive adequate water because of the drop in pressure. 

“As many of these pipelines originate quite far away from these places, the pressure drops by the time water reaches the fag end of the network. We have proposed overhead tanks which can store up to 15 lakh litres in several areas experiencing water scarcity to solve the issue. Besides, we are on a mission to replace old pipes. The department has put forward a proposal to install flow metres at a few junctions to obtain regular data of distribution. A few of them are still in the tendering process,” said a KWA official.

Collector’s Intervention
As part of the review meeting of various projects implemented by Goshree Islands Development Authority (GIDA), District Collector S Suhas has directed KWA officials to speed up re-tendering process of Elankunnappuzha-Njarakkal-Nayarambalam drinking water project. 

Existing facilities
Aluva treatment plant supplies 250 million litres of water a day for Kochi city and it is being taken to Vypeen island.  The Maradu treatment plant under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), launched in 2016, pumps 100 million litres of water a day to parts of Kochi Corporation, Maradu Municipality, Kumbalam, Kumbalanghi and Chellanam panchayats.

Ongoing projects

GIDA’s Rs 56.85-crore drinking water project connects Elankunnappuzha, Njarakkal and Nayarambalam panchayats.
HUDCO’s  Rs 12.5-crore project covers Kuzhuppilly and Edavanakkad panchayats


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