The latest burst on October 30 affected over five lakh people.
Alappuzha: A high-level meeting convened by water resources minister K. Krishnankutty on Monday decided to replace 1,524-metre damaged pipeline in three months to end the drinking water crisis. The meeting attended by public works minister G. Sudhakaran and officials gave the consent to dig up the Amb-Alappuzha-Thiruvalla road to carry out the work.
A press statement issued after the meeting in Thiruvananthapuram said long-lasting 900 MM mild steel pipe will replace the existing 1000 MM high-density polythene pipe with along 1,084-metre stretch in Thakazhy and another 440 metres in Kelam-angalam. The same contractor who laid the faulty pipeline witnessing frequent bursts will carry out the work.
The contractor will pay for the MS pipe while the authority will supply drinking water through tankers, making use of borewells and reverse osmosis plants during this period. Officials said that the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) would meet the cost of restoring the dug-up roads by Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society.
The KWA executed the Alappuzha drinking water project with central help under the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) in 2017. However, since its launch, pipelines have burst over 40 times, including 30 major bursts at Thakazhy, in two-and-a-half years, disrupting the water supply and damaging the Ambalapuzha- Thiruvalla road.
The latest burst on October 30 affected over five lakh people. Although work to plug the leak has begun, the water supply was not restored. Officials said they had found a new crack and they would not be restoring water supply without further assessing it.
Earlier, the repair work got struck after the public works department (PWD) delayed its permission to the UIDSSMT to dig up the road. After several rounds of talks between officials of the water resources department, it accorded its sanction on Saturday evening.