Thiruvananthapuram: Fresh life is being ‘pumped’ into the much-delayed work of establishing a distribution system for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-assisted water supply scheme in Thiruvananthapuram, and if things go as planned, the entire project should be over here by December this year. The technical bid of a prospective new contractor for the distribution system work was cleared on Tuesday. The financial bid will be opened next week, a top official of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) said.
The work had been hit midway following delays. And the subsequent termination of the original contractor for the work forced the KWA to re-tender it. The JICA-assisted water supply scheme was envisaged in four packages and two have been completed. The fourth is in the final stage, but the third package had presented a severe headache for the KWA. Since pipes were to be laid through the city, KWA had faced stiff opposition from road development agencies as well as telecom services whose cables passed under the roads that were to be cut up.
"In fact, 50 per cent of the work on the distribution system has been completed so far. But now, the District Collector also has assured us that arrangements will be made to ensure that the pipes are laid without trouble,’’ JICA project (Thiruvananthapuram) chief engineer T S Rajendra Babu said.
In fact, Water Resources Minister P J Joseph himself told the Assembly on Wednesday that the remaining works can be completed by the year-end. In the first of the four packages, a 72 MLD (million litres a day) intake and treatment plant was established at Aruvikkara. The second involved the drawing of a main pipeline to carry the water from Aruvikkara to more than ten tanks in the city. This work too has been completed. Of the 11 tanks planned in various parts of the city in Package No 4, only two - at Thirumala and Vellayambalam - remain to be commissioned. The work is about 90 per cent over, KWA officials said.