THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The signs are clear. This summer, the city is going to face a severe drought. The shortage of water has started affecting not only those in the hilly and coastal areas, but also people in the heart of the city.
While the demand for water rises, the supply has dipped considerably. The residents are suffering with those who supply potable water demanding more money.
Sensing the gravity of the situation, the district administration has geared up to meet the challenge. This involves putting restriction on tankers carrying water and providing more water kiosks.
“Water tanks will be set up at various points. Tanks will be constructed based on the report submitted by the respective tahasildars,” said District Collector S Venkateshpathi. Other directives include instructions to tahsildars to identify the land and build tanks at a war footing. The tanks will be erected on stands and Nirmithi Kendra has been given the task of constructing them. An amount of Rs 25,000 has been allocated.
It is clear that traditional water sources alone cannot meet the demand. Water levels at reservoirs in Peppara and Aruvikkara, the main surface water sources in the city, have plummeted. There is water only for the next three weeks.
The situation calls for collecting water from newer sources such as ponds, granite and clay quarries. Different departments have been assigned the task. Water thus collected will be micro-filtered and chlorinated to make it potable. The Disaster Management Department will take over the quarries filled with water based on the report submitted by tahsildars while the Water Resources Department will filter the water.
The water scarcity is acute in adivasi areas, scheduled caste colonies, coastal and high range areas. Tehsildars have to visit these location personally and submit reports to the Collector. At present, some of these locations are supplied with water from kiosks.
The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) has estimated a requirement of 10,900 kiosks across the state. Though the condition of ground water table is not high, the authorities hopes to exploit ground water. Over 450 hand pumps would be set up to draw water at different locations.
The district administration has made it clear that there would be crack down on illegal water suppliers using tankers. Tahsildars should issue stop memo if they find using tankers for illegal water collection and distribution. Such tankers should be confiscated. Out of the 760 applications seeking permit for supplying water, only 350 have been approved.