Work on Aluva pump house lags

The project is aimed at addressing water woes of district

A new pump house at Aluva that will draw water from the Periyar is expected to resolve the water woes of Ernakulam, but the completion of the project remains far from sight.

The pump house, proposed nearly two years ago, is likely to increase supply to the district by 143 million litres per day (mld). The current supply hovers around 350 mld, while the projected demand was pegged at over 480 mld when proposals for the new plant were drawn up, according to Kerala Water Authority (KWA) officials.

The district currently receives 100 million litres of water from the pump house at Maradu and between 250 and 280 mld is supplied from the existing pump house at Aluva. The Maradu plant receives water from the Muvattupuzha river, while the purification plant at Aluva draws water from the Periyar.

The new pump house, while further burdening the Periyar river, will improve supply to Thrikkakara, Paravur, Aluva, Kalamassery, Maradu, Kochi Corporation area, and 13 surrounding panchayats.

It is proposed to come up on around 3 acres some 500 metres from the existing one at Aluva. While the total project cost is around ₹300 crore, administrative sanction for work costing only ₹50 crore was obtained in 2019, since there had been a shortage of funds, said a KWA official associated with the project.

As part of the first phase of the project, the KWA officers’ quarters, which stands on the proposed project site, is being razed and rebuilt near the Town Hall at Aluva, and the pipelines that pass through the site of the new plant are being rerouted.

The KWA is hoping to complete the first phase of the project by June 2022, the official said.

Work on the pump house and the purification plant can begin after the first phase is complete, and could take over a year and a half, said another senior KWA official. Administrative sanction for the remaining project cost is still awaited, while the proposal for it was submitted in July last year. The existing distribution network will be used to boost supply, and a sump at Kalamassery will be used for storage, the official said. Fresh pipelines will also have to be laid from the new pump house to the sump at Kalamassery.

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