KOCHI: The Kochi Corporation will urge the state government to review its decision to impose curbs on spending funds for drinking water supply. A decision to this effect was taken during a council meeting on Monday. As the government has fixed a ceiling for funds to supply drinking water, the Corporation is forced to stop water supply which will affect many families in parched areas. As per the state government order, the local body can spend only Rs.15 lakh in March and Rs.20 lakh for the next two months for water supply. Corporation secretary Haritha V Kumar informed the council that spending more funds would invite audit objection.
If potable water supply through tankers is stopped, many families in water stressed West Kochi areas, solely dependent on tanker water, will be affected. The amount fixed by the government was grossly inadequate and the matter should be taken up with higher authorities, the councillors observed. Based on their demand, Mayor Soumini Jain has agreed to take up the matter with the government. Meanwhile, the council session witnessed noisy scenes over allegations about the quality of drinking water supplied by the Corporation under the brand name ‘Kochi Water’.
Citing recent reports over the presence of coliform bacteria in purified ‘Kochi Water’ bottles, Works Standing Committee chairman P.M Haris demanded strict measures to monitor the functioning of two ‘Kochi Water’ plants at Edappally and west Kochi. Replying to the debate, Health Committee chairperson V.K Minimol said that complaints had been received over the quality of water supplied from the Edappally plant. “A detailed probe will be conducted and the water samples will be tested in the government analytical laboratory. Any deliberate attempts to sabotage the project by private packaged drinking water lobbies will also be probed,” she said.
The Mayor informed the council that a meeting of KSWDC and Kudumbasree officials would be convened soon to sort out the issue.
The other topics discussed by the council meeting include poor utilisation of Plan funds, mosquito menace and unauthorised road-cutting for cable-laying by private telecom companies.