No piped drinking water for Central, North Chennai
Deccan Chronicle| c s kotteswaran
MLAs unable to answer queries from angry public.
Local administration minister S. P. Velumani on Saturday inspects quarries in Mangadu from where water is drawn for drinking water distribution. (Photo: DC)
Chennai: Water shortage looms large in Greater Chennai. Though the Chennai metro water claims to supply around 550 mld of drinking water to Chennai through various sources like desalination plants, borewells and quarries, piped water supply to parts of central and north Chennai has completely stopped since Friday. Cutting across party lines elected MLAs of both AIADMK and DMK told DC that they were unable to visit the constituency and answer the public on acute shortage of water.
"Every morning I get at least five calls from public complaining that their locality is not supplied drinking water. Till mid May the situation was manageable but now it seems there is no supply of water to the sumps and this has created problems even in non congested areas", rued an AIADMK MLA wishing not to be quoted. Local administration minister S. P. Velumani claims that the state is attending the Chennai water scarcity and the authorities claim that they supply close to 600 mld water but I doubt the water supply claim as complaints are pouring in, the MLA added.
Metro officials say that they are attending the short supply, but the issue is not addressed and I agree that it is a really a bad situation for the metro water authorities also" said Egmore MLA K. S. Ravichandran.
"We are hoping for the metro water to resume the water supply through pipelines at the earliest as water tankers reach public only once in three days. However all the complaints related to water shortage are forwarded to the metro water seeking action, the Thiru Vika Nagar constituency legislator Thayagam Kavi said. When contacted a senior metro water official said as of now metro water is providing water every alternate day through pipelines. Water tankers are supplying close to 7,000 trips a day.
"We have to hope for a good southwest monsoon. Veeranam should be filled to provide better water supply and water from Krishna river is another source the state is waiting for" the top official added.
According to Saidapet MLA Ma Subramanian metro water is positive in attending complaints but the state has failed to store adequate water and is not prepared to handle drought. "Drinking water shortage issue is looming across Chennai and the steps taken by the local administration ministry is not satisfactory", added the former mayor.
Min: Making all-out efforts to tackle water shortage
Local administration minister S.P. Velumani on Saturday visited the Sikkarayapuram quarry sites near Mangadu in Kancheepuram district where the water from the quarry is drawn to cater to the drinking needs of greater Chennai.
Addressing the media, Velumani said the state was undergoing the worst drought in 140 years. The Rs 13.63 crore project started last month has four kilometre long pipelines and has started yielding results.
Quarries will be used to collect rainwater and if required the water will be tapped in future also, the minister said adding that the state was taking all efforts to fight the drinking water shortage.
Rainwater collected in the quarry sites have been tested for drinking purpose by the King Institute, Guindy and Centre for Environmental Studies and Geological Department, Anna University.
Chennai Metro Water and Sewerage Board Managing Director V. Arun Roy said quarries contain a total of 3,000 million litres of water out of which 30 million litres per day will be pumped for treatment and supply and the process will carry on for 100 days.
The quarries were identified after a hydrographic survey on the rocks to measure the depth and bottom configuration of water bodies. He added that pipelines where laid for the interim period and if there is a need a channel will be drawn to connect the Chembarambakkam lake and other such quarries are also under study to tap water resources, he added.