THRISSUR: The Guruvayur Devaswom authorities on Thursday appealed to the government and district administration to take action against those who had blocked tanker carrying water to the temple on Wednesday night.

The issue had acquired newer dimensions when references to it by the Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithal in the State Assembly had led to acrimonious scenes and adjournment of the House for about an hour.

The Devaswom Chairman M Peethambara Kurup said the tanker with a capacity of 12,000 liters was carrying water to the temple and the entire water was wasted by draining it out to the ground through the tap of the tanker by a section of the residents while the SI of the nearby police station was watching it.

The Chairman pointed out that the Devaswom was now supplying food to about 35,000 devotees as part of the ongoing festival everyday. The Devaswom was also supplying water to its own guest houses as well as to the nearby offices like police station and fire stations.

He demanded that action must be taken against the SI who did not prevent the protesters who were wasting the water from the tanker. According to reports the SI was shouting at the tanker driver and cleaner for taking the water at night hours, and for allegedly taking excessive quantity of water, he said.

“The police official could have warned the tanker staff and Devaswom or even imposed a fine, instead of permitting the protesters to waste the entire water. Ironically a government official was indulging in such a shocking act even when the entire state was through a severe drought and even Chief Minister was appealing to the people not to waste a drop of water,” the Devaswom member Advocate A Sureshan said.

Responding to the allegations that the opposition UDF leaders were behind the blockade against the tanker carrying water to the temple, the Chairman said there are also reports a CPM local leader was also behind it.

The Devaswom authorities don’t want to be dragged into controversies about who were behind those protests. It is for the police to find out who are those protesters. But we want the government to take steps to ensure adequate water supply to the devaswom,” he said.

The Devaswom managing committee held an emergency meeting to discuss the water crisis in Guruvayur and appealed to the government to intervene at the earliest to resolve it.
The residents were protesting alleging that the continuous supply of water for the temple will lead to draining off of the water sources in the area.

Interestingly, the Devaswom had decided to explore the possibility of setting up a plant for desalination of sea water as part of the efforts to address the acute drinking water shortage being faced by the temple town. The hotels and restaurants in the temple town had threatened to down the shutters unless adequate water supply was ensured.