CHENNAI: North Tamil Nadu, particularly Chennai, is undergoing an arid spell which is the most acute ever. With rain continuing to be elusive after the December deluge of 2015 and as the mercury keeps soaring even in June, people are battling for precious water.
There appears to be no end in sight for the water woes of the residents who continue to wait long hours for water. A drastic reduction in supply by Metro Water tankers has added to their miseries. After the city and suburbs surmounted the December deluge, 2016 saw the State facing an unprecedented drought situation. The year 2017 was no better as the State had received deficit rainfall. Last year also the State had received 24 % less than the normal rainfall.
The arrival of the South West Monsoon hardly brings any cheer. Chennai and its neighbourhoods are in for extreme temperatures for the next two days. A bulletin issued by the Regional Meteorological Centre predicts heat wave conditions are likely to prevail at isolated pockets over Tamil Nadu over the next two days.
Tiruvallur, Chennai, Vellore, Kanchipuram, Thiruvannamalai, Tiruchirapalli, Perambalur and Cuddalore districts are expected to sizzle under heat wave conditions till June 12. The IMD, Chennai, has cautioned the public not to expose themselves to direct sunlight between 11 am and 4 pm on the said dates to avoid sunstroke. As of 12 noon on June 11, Chennai had recorded 39.2 degree Celsius.
Notwithstanding the efforts of the government to attempt regular water supply, the residents in the city still crave for 9,000 or 12,000 litre tankers and are heavily dependent on private tanker suppliers who fleece them.
Meanwhile, the State Government has notified and declared 17 districts and 38 blocks in the other 7 districts in Tamil Nadu having deficit annual rainfall and facing severe drought condition. Due to the failure of the monsoon, local bodies are facing challenges in supplying drinking water, due to depletion of water table and drying up of water sources in the respective areas.
"In order to mitigate the above situation, immediate drought relief works like sinking of new borewells, desilting of open wells, rejuvenation of water supply schemes and water supply through tanker lorries are being taken up by the State on a war footing with the available resources. As an innovative measure, abandoned quarries are being utilised to draw and supply water to the public after scientific testing and treating the water," says Municipal Administration Minister S. P. Velumani. For the Chennai Metropolitan area, two major desalination projects at an estimated cost of Rs 7,337.78 crore to supply 550 MLD water have been taken up and both projects are expected to be completed by December 2022....