Trivandrum: The city owes its drinking water supply to Wellington Water Works conceived and built by the British, which was launched in 1933. The drinking water project, which was constructed to serve the city for 30 years, hasbeen meeting the city's demand after nearly eighty years and to a population that has grown ten times since the Wellington Water Works was opened.
As part of its platinum jubilee celebrations in 2009, the Kerala Water Authority decided to instill an old model public tap, with press-release noose to prevent the wastage of water.
However,the tap soon developed a leak. The replica was built with original parts that were brought in specially for the occasion. KWA couldn't find the required parts needed for the repair of the 'heritage tap' from the market.
At that time, the problem was temporarily solved by fixing a PVC pipe in place of the original pipe belonging to the bygone era. But the installation of the PVC pipe in place of a heritage pipe soon ushered in ridicule from the media and the masses, forcing authorities to replace the PVC tap with the original.
Sources in KWA tell that the present situation is such that nothing canbe specifically done about the matter and hence have been conveniently forgotten. Currently KWA hasn't got any plans, either to repair the tap,citing the reason of the lack of availability of parts in the market, or to have it shut down or replaced.
“It is there as a heritage symbol; it has been put there representing a by gone era and so there is no chance of having the tap removed,” says a KWA official.
At present, water is leaking from this heritage tap twenty-four hours a day. With many parts in the city and adjoining areas hit by severe water shortage and with the Monsoon rains showing a miserly attitude towards the state, water management receives the top priority at the moment. But the Kerala Water Authority has decided to protect their leaking heritage in the face of harsher realities, even as the city hopes of taking drinking water to every home instead of having every home wait for it in front of one tap.