Coimbatore Corporation has suspended the work to lay a new drinking water pipeline on State Bank Road. The suspension is notwithstanding the request from the State Highways Department to complete the work at the earliest.
Sources in the civic body said that it had paid around ₹55 lakh to the department in August 2020 before taking up the work to lay the pipeline from Avinashi Road, Uppilipalayam, through the Old Post Office Road and State Bank Road to Lanka Corner for 600m.
The work was a part of the 24×7 drinking water supply scheme the corporation had taken up under the Smart Cities Mission. The pipeline to be laid on both sides of the road was to convey water to Puliakulam and Town Hall.
At present, the corporation supplied water through a pipeline that runs below the Government Arts College Road. The new pipeline would replace the old pipeline and take care of water supply to the two areas until 2047.
The corporation had started the work at the Avinashi Road end of the stretch but suspended the work, a few months ago. At present, the corporation had completed the work till the Collectorate and not taken it further south.
The reasons were workers’ migration during the lockdown, Assembly election and the misinformation about the project in the present dispensation.
A senior officer, on condition of anonymity, said the DMK having promised annulment of the 24×7 drinking water supply project contract that the corporation had signed with the contractor, Suez India Pvt. Ltd., and as local party leaders campaigned vigorously against the project, the corporation had at present decided to suspend the work until it obtained fresh political clearance.
The issue had come up during Municipal Administration and Water Supply Minister K.N. Nehru’s visit to the city, the officer said and added that the corporation was hoping to obtain the clearance at the earliest.
Meanwhile, the Highways Department had asked the corporation to complete the work at the earliest, particularly during lockdown, because the restoration of the road would be easy with fewer vehicles on road.
The officer said the corporation had received the department’s request and would resume the work at the earliest.
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