KOLLAM: The district administration is gearing up to meet the acute drought facing the state. Many steps have been taken, including cleaning up of canals carrying water from Parappar dam, well-recharging, rejuvenation of ponds and construction of 26 temporary check dams in the major rivers in the district. The district will also get 474 water kiosks for which water will be carried in GPS-equipped tankers to check misuse of water. The water kiosks will be set up as part of the state-wide programme. The tahsildars have submitted to the revenue department the list of wards that require water kiosks.
The Kerala Water Authority has also identified the water sources from which water will be supplied to these kiosks. To confront any emergency situation, more sources, including private ones, will be considered. The administration has also floated tenders to equip water tankers with GPS to track their routes to check the misuse of water sourced from identified water bodies. The cleaning work of canals associated with the Parappar dam in Thenmala is progressing by including it under MNREGA programme in 39 panchayats through which the canal is aligned.
However, water level at the Parappar dam is below 40 percent of its storage capacity. The administration has carried out construction of 17,359 rain pits, recharging of 1690 wells, renovation of 72 ponds along with construction of 14 new ponds and construction of 291 check dams. The KWA has also started water distribution line extension works under its jurisdiction. As many as 26 temporary check dams will be constructed in rivers, including Kallada, Ithikkara and Pallikkal in the district. Eastern Kollam, including Punalur, is worst affected by the drought with an estimated agriculture loss of Rs . 1. 74 crore till now.