Chennai: As cyclone ‘Gaja’ missed Chennai region to provide rainfall, it has left a bitter taste in water managers’ mouths in the city. Sources said that when the Regional Meteorological Department (RMC) predicted cyclone and rains a week ago, the officials of Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) started looking up the sky to fill drying metro water lakes like Chembarambakkam and Cholavaram.
Their hopes for rain in Chennai region further heightened, since weathermen announced that the cyclonic storm kept drifting towards Chennai, However their happiness was short-lived, as the weather pattern changed and cyclone moved to Nagapattinam district.
“We kept our finger crossed over rain in Chennai. Going by the present scenario, the water storage in four metro water lakes, the main water source to supply drinking water to the city, has gradually been declining,” said a metro water board official, requesting anonymity. However, the board never lost hopes, as chances remain high for another cyclonic systems, he maintained.
Meanwhile, the total storage in these lakes stood at 1,641 million cubic feet (mcft) against its total capacity of 11,257 mcft. Further, if monsoon failed to give rain in the days ahead, threat of water scarcity would loom large in the city and the metro water board officials would be forced to explore alternative sources, said another official.
Even as weathermen forecast light rain in Chennai region during landfall of cyclone ‘Gaja’, there was no any sign for rain in the last two days. City remained cloudy with a few places experiencing drizzles on Thursday and Friday.
Pradeep John, a city-based weather blogger, in his post mentioned, “to those who are lamenting how Chennai rains are missed. This is how close it was. Thursday night an outer band stuck ECR and Chengalpet with very intense rains and little more luck those would have fallen right over Chennai.”