For almost 30 years a sewerage network laid for the western parts of Kollam city had been lying idle and forgotten. No one remembers the exact cost at which it was laid. But now, a scheme has been evolved to assess whether the network can be utilised.
The Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDP) funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is promoting the revival scheme. KSUDP project officer (Kollam) B. Sulekha told The Hindu that a condition assessment survey (CAS) of the existing network was being carried out by technicians.
Since it had been lying idle for about three decades, some of the manhole lids had been covered with layers of bitumen as a result of road resurfacing work over the years. Locating these manholes was a big task and the bitumen layers had to be chipped off to find the lids.
Ms. Sulekha said Rs.1 crore had been allocated for the CAS and 90 per cent of the survey had been completed. The sewerage is a 38 km network and as per the CAS, 90 per cent of the network which had been assessed could be utilised. Minor repairs and maintenance were required at certain portions, she said.
The CAS comprises cleaning up of the network through infiltration, and ensures that sub-surface water does not percolate into the network. In case leaks are detected, those portions will have to be replaced. In some cases the concreted bottom on manholes were seen flaking away and these will also have to be repaired.
In order to make the network operational, a sewage treatment plant is required. Kureepuzha in the city is being considered as the location for that. The scheme will also require five pumping stations. Land for the purpose had been acquired 30 years ago and is still in the possession of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA). These are located at Thevally, Sarpakuzhy, Tangasseri, Pallithottam and Vady.