Flashback: Plum Mitan resident Anderson Joseph discusses issues affecting the low-lying village. For years, residents have been clamouring for pipe-borne water. Years ago, WASA laid pipelines in the village but to date the residents continue to rely solely on truck-borne water or rainwater for their needs. They hope those days are numbered. —Photo: MICHEAL BRUCE

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Water relief coming for Plum Mitan

By Kimberly Castillo 

THE Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) is currently engaged in works aimed at providing a pipe-borne water supply to Plum Mitan, head of Corporate Communications at WASA, Ellen Lewis, stated in a press release in response to an Express story. 

In a prior visit to Plum Mitan, the villagers complained bitterly to the Express of having to rely on rainwater and a limited truck-borne water supply.

Even though WASA laid water lines up to eight years ago, the lines have not delivered a single drop of water to the village.

The farmers said they were told that the water main WASA had installed years ago was too small to supply water to the entire village. 

For most, pipe-borne water is a basic necessity but for the village of Plum Mitan, it's a luxury.

Its villagers hope that the days of living without pipe-borne water are numbered.

Lewis stated that that the series of projects aimed at providing a pipe-borne water supply to Plum Mitan include the construction of the Biche Booster Station, which is due to be completed in May 2013.

Additionally two major pipeline installation projects are currently under way along the Cunapo Southern Main Road. These include:

 Installation of 9.6 kilometres of 400 mm pipelines from LP# 72 (52m off Churma Junction Road) to LP# 228 (Biche Booster) along Cunapo Southern Main Road, Biche. Installation of 7.5 kilometres of 300mm and 150 mm mains from LP# 228 (Biche Booster) to LP# 388 Kowlessar Trace along Cunapo Southern Main Road, Biche.

  "These works, which are scheduled to be completed by August 2013, will improve the level of service to the area and, in some cases, lead to the pipe-borne water to certain communities for the first time," noted Lewis.

   While the villagers were glad upon hearing the news, many whom the Express spoke with, already wary of broken promises, remain cautiously optimistic.

"Many of the water lines will have to be dug up and replaced," said one farmer, who said that some lines must have sustained damage due to several landslips over the years.

The farmers said they noticed ongoing roadworks in recent times and expressed a desire to meet with representatives from WASA to find out exactly what's going on.

Retiree Robbie Ragoonath agreed.

  "I'm sure many of the lines are damaged. We don't want to get our hopes raised only to be disappointed in the end,"said Ragoonath.

Ragoonath, 62, has lived his entire life in Plum Mitan.

While many in the low-lying, flood-prone village eke out a living by toiling long hours farming, the village has never had pipe-borne-water a luxury in the eyes of the residents of Plum Mitan.

  "This is long overdue," said Ragoonath. "WASA put down the lines so long ago. We use rainwater that we collect in barrels during the rainy season and in the dry season we only get a limited supply of truck-borne water."

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