Chennai: Amid all the screaming and warring over a pot of water by the Chennaiites came a rather annoying statement from the office of the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan late Thursday evening claiming that Tamil Nadu rejected its (Kerala) offer to send 20 lakh litres of drinking water to ease the crisis in the neighbouring state.
“Kerala is willing to assist Tamil Nadu to tackle the crisis caused by water scarcity. We could deliver 20 lakh litres of drinking water through the rail network. In response to our offer, we have been informed that at present Tamil Nadu has sufficient supply and doesn't require additional assistance from Kerala”, said a statement posted on CM Pinarayi Vijayan's Facebook page. The train-load of drinking water was to come by train from Thiruvananthapuram to Chennai, but this was shot down by the TN Government.
TN Government put out a micro-brief statement on twitter, quoting minister S. P. Velumani saying it was not true that Kerala had offered water and Tamil Nadu declined taking it.
Only a couple of days back, the minister had stoutly denied media's “manufactured” reports that some IT companies had told their employees to work from home due to lack of water.
Also, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has said media was “creating and illusion of water scarcity.” He said the media should not create an impression that the entire TN has been hit by water scarcity when in truth only a small area (Chennai) was affected.
A government source said Kerala’s offer of 20 lakh litres of water (two million litres a day) “is of not much use considering that Chennai needs 525 MLD (million litres a day). It's just a drop in the ocean of our needs and we did not want them (Kerala) to create some drama after giving us so little”, he said, adding, “Besides, Kerala offered this two mld only for one day”.
Water crisis has worsened in Chennai as its four main sources of water have dried up and also, the groundwater levels have gone down substantially in most parts of the city. People have been demonstrating in various parts of the city, carrying empty plastic pots and some even blocking road traffic.
The combined water level in the four lakes of Chennai-Poondi, Chembarambakkam, Cholavaram and Redhills-stood at 23 million cubic feet (mcft) as against their total storage capacity of 11, 257 mcft and that would mean the city has just around 0.20 per cent of the total storage capacity in the four lakes....