Thiruvananthapuram: Originally conceptualised in 1972, a sewerage line under the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) which could benefit around 8,000 families in the city is yet to be commissioned. But now, following the initiative of a citizen activist, things have finally got rolling. The sewerage line was planned for Maruthamkuzhi, Koottanvila, Kattachal, Pangode and Udiyannoor areas. According to officials, land acquisition issues on four stretches had brought inordinate delay to the project.
Maruthamkuzhy-based P Jayakumar, a retired government official, brought the matter to the notice of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy through the ‘Sutharya Keralam’ programme last month. Surprised by the delay in the work, the Chief Minister asked KWD MD Ashok Kumar Singh to take speedy action to complete the work. On the reason for the delay in the work, Ashok Kumar Singh said land acquisition was the biggest hurdle. “The vested interest of some Revenue officials delayed the project. Now, we have taken follow-up actions. Steps are being taken to expedite the work,” said Singh.
Suresh, executive engineer of Sewerage Division, Pattoor, said land acquisition on four stretches, including the Jagathy-Puthupally Road, near Pangode military camp and near S K Hospital, are the major hurdles. “We have filed a fresh application to the District Collector for carrying out the land acquisition. An application will be submitted before the State-level Empowered Committee to expedite land acquisition by including the work in fast track,” he said.
Meanwhile, the KWA will initiate the work in the missing links where land acquisition is not an issue. “There is a missing link of around 500 metres where work could begin without acquiring land. We have prepared an estimate of Rs 1.50 crore and submitted it for administrative sanction. Once we get the sanction, we could soon complete the works and commission the sewerage lines at Jagathy and Pangode areas,” said Suresh.
The Chief Minister is understood to have given a six-month deadline to complete the work. However, the KWA MD said that it would take a year to complete the work once the land acquisition issues are sorted out.