THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A Rs 25-lakh high-pressure filter pump
installed at Vizhinjam for ensuring supply of clean drinking water to the coastal region has proved to be a bitter disappointment.
The pump should have been commissioned on January 30, but Kerala Water Authority (KWA) officials say it is not effectively filtering out the greenish algae content in the water sourced from the Vellayani Lake.“The pump is able to bring down turbidity rates from 40 NTU to 25 NTU, but the greenish colour remains,” a senior KWA official said. On Thursday also, a review meeting was held to discuss the fate of the pump. According to the official, only a full-fledged water treatment plant can serve the purpose.
Such a treatment plant is included in the proposals for a water supply scheme for the Kalliyoor-Venganoor region, which will also benefit Vizhinjam. But the scheme would take a long time in coming, KWA officials themselves say.
For decades, the people of Vizhinjam have been on the warpath demanding clean drinking water. Last July, the people gheraoed Chief Minister Oommen Chandy who came visiting to attend a function. Soon, Chandy convened a meeting and one of the decisions was to install the pump. The pump was installed using ` 10 lakh from the MP’s fund, ` 5 lakh each from the funds of the MLA, KWA and the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation.
The interesting thing is, a full-fledged water treatment plant was recommended for a water supply scheme to the region back in 2006-07. However, the idea was dropped owing to the exorbitant cost of setting up one. Then, one would have cost ` 3.5 crore. The present cost hovers around ` 5 crore, say KWA officials.
“Only a real water treatment plant can solve the problem,” a KWA source said. Recently, a study conducted by the Centre for Fisheries Studies of the Latin Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram had revealed that owing to lack of proper government supply, the people were being forced to buy water at Rs 2 to Rs 3 a pot.
But KWA officials are not to abandon the pump. “We are making the necessary modifications. It has to perform at our levels of standard. The pump will be commissioned after making the required modifications,” KWA superintending engineer Krishnakumar said.