Chennai: A train carrying 2.5 million litres of water arrived here from Jolarpet on Friday as part of the efforts taken by the Edappadi Government to tackle the acute water crisis faced by the TN capital. It has been planned to run four train trips each day, with 50 tank wagons (BTPN) carrying 50,000 litres of water in each of them.
Officials said the train reached the filling station at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Villivakkam shortly before noon but had to wait for about three hours for the state ministers to arrive for the formal inaugural ceremony at an auspicious hour, before the TV cameras. The train was to reach Chennai on Thursday but was delayed as the railways offloaded some excess load of water, which actually went waste to the ground.
“25 MLD of water in 50 railway wagons has reached the Villivakkam railway yard. The water will be taken to a treatment and storage facility in Kilpauk from where it will be distributed to people”, said minister SP Velumani after the inaugural ceremony held at Villivakkam. Senior colleagues D Jayakumar and Mafoi Pandiarajan joined him at the ceremony, and photo sessions. The entire place was decorated with flowers and banners hailing the government and Minister Velumani for the ‘great’ effort.
An official of the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewage Board said the water from the wagons would be sent to a treatment plant after passing through a conduit.
After treatment, the water will be sent to the board's distribution system for supply to the people, he said, adding, "We may continue this arrangement for about six months by which time the northeast monsoon is expected to set".
With Chennai facing acute water crisis and its four main reservoirs going dry — the city needs at least 200 million litres per day — the government began scouting for relief possibilities. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan last month made a one-time offer of two million litres but it was turned down by TN saying it was too little.
CM Edappadi Palaniswami then announced that Chennai would get water from Jolarpettai tapping the groundwater sources in its neighbourhood areas. He announced allocation of `65 crore towards this effort. This is the first time in 18 years that Chennai is being supplied with part of its drinking water requirement from neigbouring districts brought in train wagons. The government is paying Rs 8.6 lakh to the Southern Railway for each trip....