THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Vizhinjam continues to face acute water shortage despite annexing the coastal panchayat to the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, a study by the Centre for Fisheries Studies under the Trivandrum Social Service Society has found.
Faced with acute drinking water shortage, the people of Vizhinjam are being forced to purchase water from private agencies at ` 2.50 a pot.
‘’Still, there is no assurance regarding water supply. If they are paying ` 2.50 a pot, one can only guess how much poor fisherfolk in the region shell out for water in a single day. Officials can only cite technical hitches when asked the reason why water is not being made available to Vizhinjam, which is populated by 18,566 people,’’ says the report.
Although 5,000 litres were to be supplied to each ward once in three days, the situation is such that 4,000 litres are made available once in nine days. One reason why the people continue to depend on private agencies for water, says the study.
Thirty years have passed since agitations were launched demanding proper water supply to the region. The Karichal water supply scheme was the first scheme the government implemented to address the grievance. But the people blocked the pumping after it was found that the water was polluted. The subsequent Vellayani Kayal-Vizhinjam scheme also shared the same fate.
The report also draws attention to the fact that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy himself was gheraoed by the people on July 22. Consequently, the Chief Minister had convened a meeting of officials where it was announced that a high-pressure filter pump would be installed to streamline water supply to the thickly-populated region.
The study also says that pipelines are yet to be drawn to many areas of Vizhinjam, which puts a question mark on the implementation of water supply schemes.