Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that state is heading for the most severe drought in its history. He was speaking after inaugurating the environment-friendly building (central control unit) of Kerala Water Authority at Vellayambalam. The CM also inaugurated Janamitra, an online monitoring facility by KWA for complaint redressal.
“We haven’t learnt from the first drought in 1983. It was human intervention that hindered natural means of recharging water sources. As per 2001 census, 72% of people depended on well water. However, it was reduced to 62% in 2011 census. It shows that more people have switched to pipe water. Around 6.5 lakh wells have been abandoned in the state. The Nava Kerala mission aims at revival of such water bodies,” he said.
Water resources minister Mathew T Thomas said that KWA officials must put in more effort to commission water supply projects and to make KWA a consumer-friendly department. He said that jackfruit trees were planted in KWA divisions across the state on Monday as part of inauguration of the green building.
The 11,685 square feet green building was constructed as part of JICA-assisted water supply project. The 12-storeyed building was constructed utilizing Rs 36.32 crore. The building will be used as office for managing director, technical members and accounts members. It will also house a library, auditorium and conference hall. Designed by the Habitat Group, the building was constructed by Mary Matha construction company in accordance with norms of the Indian Green Building Council. The building has a rain water harvesting facility, which has a capacity to hold 2 lakh litres. The KWA has contacted ANERT to set up solar panels on roof top. Stabilized mud blocks were used for construction of walls.
The Janamitra software helps KWA authorities from the level of section officer to minister to track consumer complaints. They can track the complaint and could ask for reasons for delay in complaint redressal. The KWA will soon add features where consumers could file online complaints and track them.