Kerala: Road condition adds to water woes of Pachalam, Vaduthala residents

Digging of roads by water authority for pipe-laying work is the cause of the problem: Residents
The road damaged due to pipe-laying work
The road damaged due to pipe-laying workPhoto | Express

KOCHI: For the past two years, the residents of Pachalam and Vaduthala have been struggling to get a steady supply of drinking water. Though the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) finally paid heed to their demands after a long wait, the work seems to be moving at a snail’s pace and leaving in its trail a plague of damaged roads, dust and loose granite pieces.

“We have been fighting for the KWA connection for the past two years,” says Somanathan, a member of the Flat Owners’ Association. According to him, the KWA has begun laying pipes for the connection. However, it is being done only in certain parts of Pachalam and Vaduthala. When the residents contacted the KWA engineer, we were told that the work was being carried out in stages. We can only take their claims with a pinch of salt. This is similar to being told that the connection would materialise in a matter of weeks or a month. We will believe their claims only when the water comes through the taps,” he stated.

Another issue that has made the lives of the residents miserable is the condition of the road that has been dug up for the pipelines. Somanathan highlights how the process has left in its wake a destroyed road.

“The mud and stones are piled up all along the road. They could have cleared the debris as the work progressed. However, they have left the mud and stones that trip motorists, cover the houses in dust and turn the roadsides into muddy traps during rain,” he adds.

If this was the issue with the pipelines, the residents highlighted how the water tank near the Lourdes Hospital on the premises of the Pachalam pump house that was constructed under the Amrut project had not been commissioned even after eight months of project completion.

Highlighting this Sujith C Sukumaran, joint secretary, EDRAAC North Region, wrote a letter to the Chief Minister. In reply to the letter, the KWA stated that the project was already commissioned.

“They said the distribution from the tank to Pachalam and Vaduthala areas can’t happen since the supply network is yet to be completed,” says Sujith. There have also been talks that the distribution hasn’t been carried out since KWA is yet to clear the bills of the contractor.

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The New Indian Express