Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 18 May 2024 7.18 PM IST

30,000 pipes become useless in 3 years point to authorities' neglect in capital


The other day, we published a statistic that would shock the residents of the capital who depend on the water authority's piped water for drinking. The figure of thirty thousand pipes become useless in the last three years in the Thiruvananthapuram district points to the continued indifference of the water authority in this regard and the 'self-indulgent' attitude that there is no intention of getting better and constantly drinking water. What should the people who are destined to experience these things call a problem that repeats itself countless times and does not seek a permanent solution, which drains crores of rupees in the name of maintenance?

The Attingal water supply section is number one when it comes to marathon pipe bursts - 6635 pipe bursts in three years! Even Palayam, Pattur and Karamana sections, which are the most congested parts of the capital, suffered almost 2,000 pipe bursts each during this period, disrupting drinking water supply. Greater than the hardship caused to the people and the constant expenditure of huge sums of money for maintenance is the fact that about forty percent of the water pumped for distribution is simply wasted. How significant is the value of water loss due to such pipe bursts during the hot summer season when people are running out of drinking water!

City dwellers are the real victims of pipe bursts. While those outside the city limits may have many sources of water, including wells and rivers, those in urban areas need the water authority's kind heart even to wet their throats. Most of the main lines that supply water to the city are thirty to fifty years old. This age itself is the main villain. A tender was issued six years ago to replace the old pipes in two main areas of the city with cast iron (Ductile iron) pipes that will not burst due to pressure changes. It was canceled due to problems with contractors. The contract work, which was later divided into two, was to be completed two years earlier. Even a third of the work is not yet completed!

The Water Authority also knows that the permanent solution in this regard is to install cast iron pipes for water supply in place of concrete pipes, which are easy to crack. It just costs more. But the simple calculation that it is a one-time cost and can save a lot of money on recurring maintenance costs, the water authority does not understand. The reason is the secret money that goes to the official-contract lobby from the crores spent in the name of urgent austerity. People's drinking water is not for bribery. The water authority should at least have the wisdom to implement the agenda of a permanent solution to pipe bursts as the priority item for this financial year and set aside funds for implementation.

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