Kerala gears up to tackle another drought
In the first phase, the state government will set up water kiosks in 10,000 spots to ensure drinking water by February . Check dams will be built at a later stage to conserve water, said water resources minister Mathew T Thomas.
"Kerala Water Authority will supply the water. A contingency plan is being put in place with the aid of disaster management authority," said Thomas. A water kiosk will have a 5,000-10,000 litre tank in a public area.Water will be filled by the district administration from approved water sources and a log will be maintained by the local ward member and countersigned by the village officer. The disaster management authority has proposed a kiosk per local body .
"The advantage of this method is that it will reduce pilferage by making water delivery locations fixed; the transportation cost will also thus be fixed. Apart from ensuring transparency, the possibility of misuse of water collected from kiosks becomes less.The main purpose is to ensure that potable water is available free of cost for the public," said disaster management authority's member secretary Sekhar Kuriakose.
He said that in 2012, when there was a drought-like situation in Malappuram, 516 minor check dams were built across streams using sand-filled gunny bags, twigs, boulders, wooden barks. These minor check dams ensured retention of water and recharge of surrounding open wells. Each check dam entailed a cost of Rs 50,000, including labour. Most of them became permanent impediments over a period of time due to silting and thus ensured continued water retention. In 2015, 135 logwood check dams were set up in Wayanad and 18 in Thrissur to conserve water.