CHENNAI: Amid mounting pressure from the opposition parties led by the DMK to speed up its response to the water crisis in Tamil Nadu, particularly the northern districts including Chennai, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said his government has now decided to move extra water by rail tankers from Jolarpettai in Vellore district to the state capital.
A quantity of ten million litres per day (MLD) will be aggregated from different sourcing points at Jolarpettai and then moved by rail tankers to Chennai daily, Mr. Palaniswami announced here on Friday after a high-level meeting with ministers and top officials to review the water mitigation plan for TN.
The rail tankers will terminate at Villivakkam railway station on the city's Northwestern outskirts and the water taken to Kilpauk water works for treatment before being used for distribution in the city, Mr. Palaniswami told reporters here.
He pointed out that the water situation was indeed grave this year as the main lakes feeding Chennai - Red Hills, Chembarambakkam, Cholavaram and Poondi - have completely dried out, compared to the position this month last year when there was a combined storage of 3 tmcft of water.
Mr. Palaniswami said, even Krishna river water from Andhra Pradesh was not being received this year and they have received only two tmcft of water for Chennai so far.
This was due to the storage in Kandaleru reservoir not being sufficient for Tamil Nadu to draw it through the Kandaleru-Poondi flood flow canal, he said.
The Chief Minister denied allegations that full water tankers were going to VVIPs like Ministers every day, including two water tankers exclusively to his residence. “I only need two buckets of water per day besides four litres of drinking water,” he said, adding, the extra requirement was only for visitors to his residence. “Neither my ministers nor me are using a large quantity of water as alleged by some,” Mr. Palaniswami added. Already Rs 710 crore had been allotted for water supply schemes to mitigate the crisis in Tamil Nadu. Mr. Palaniswami has now ordered sanction of another Rs 200 crore to help tide over the water crisis. “We are already giving 525 MLD of water per day and we are making all arrangements on war footing to provide additional water, including drawing water from quarries, for the next four months (till the onset of the Northeast monsoon),” Chief Minister added....