CHENNAI: With the two cyclones - Gaja and Phethai, failing to give rain to Chennai city and flattening the hopes of water managers, a gloomy situation has set in among citizens of the city over interrupted drinking water supply in the days ahead.
Officials from the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) seem unfazed, claiming that they are preparing to draw water from stone quarries and agricultural bore wells from February 2019.
Sources said that since the northeast monsoon has failed to give enough rainfall to fill the main lakes that supply drinking water to the city, CMWSSB officials have started looking for stone quarries located in Sikkarayapuram village in Kanchipuram district, as was done last year. Similarly, the metro water board is planning to tap water from bore wells situated in Tiruvallur district.
“Water in the Porur lake would be drawn and we are exploring various options to distribute drinking water supply to residents without interruption,” said a senior official of the CMWSSB. The current storage in lakes like Chembarambakkam and Red Hills will be enough to meet the drinking water needs for the next one and half months, he claimed.
At a time when the groundwater table took a steady dip in the Chennai region including in Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur, it will be tough for officials to extract water. Water experts warned that the city might grapple with water scarcity from March.
Dr Sekhar Raghavan, director of The Rain Centre and a water expert, said, “The metro water board has crucial tasks at hand and the drinking water crisis is likely to intensify during summer. Even though the water board is supplying water, whenever there is high storage in the lakes, officials should encourage residents to harvest rainwater.”
When contacted, a senior engineer said that they were aware of the current scenario. “Of course, we are in the process of exploring to tap water from stone quarries and agricultural bore wells,” he said, and added that they would soon take water samples from quarries for quality water....