THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Water resources minister Mathew T. Thomas said that 18 ongoing drinking water projects would be commissioned on a war footing during the summer months of March, April and May.
“The state government has taken the severity of the impending summer very seriously,” the minister said while responding to a Calling Attention moved by CPI leader C. Divakaran in the Assembly on Wednesday on the need to take precautionary steps to solve the worsening drinking water scarcity in the state.
The minister said that inflow in rivers that were used as drinking water sources was very low. “So as a precautionary measure we have already completed 94 works worth Rs 2.32 crore to ensure the availability of water in such rivers,” Mr Thomas said. Of these 35 works relate to the construction of temporary check dams in rivers. “These dams will not only retain water, but will also prevent the intrusion of brackish water into these sources,” he said.
The minister, however, said that, compared to last year, the water level in dams was slightly better. The water level in monitored wells, too, has also risen when compared to last year. Still, he said that the level was lower than the average level for the last 10 years. The minister said that the Rs 30.55 crore earmarked for drought relief works in the Budget would be spent on various works in all the districts.
“The Department has also taken steps to make the distribution network more efficient by carrying out urgent maintenance works on pumps and motors, and by the timely repair of leaks on pipe lines,” the minister said. Further, he said that steps had already been taken to reach water to water-scarce regions by rescheduling the pumping time and controlling the valves. Local bodies and the Revenue department will reach water using tanker lorries to places where the network did not adequately serve the needs of the people, the minister said.