Water shortage may go up by 20 per cent: Experts

Safe drinking water available only to 40 per cent of TN population.

Chennai: Tamil Nadu with 48.45 per cent population living in urban areas is the fast progressing urbanised state, but the state supplies adequate safe drinking water only to 40 per cent of its geographic population. Norms prescribed by Central Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organisation (CPHEEO) for drinking water supply in corporations and municipal areas recommend 135 litres per capita per day (LPCD), but this feat is far from reality, confirm official sources.

According to a municipal administration offcial, the daily supply in Chennai and tier one cities is around 110 LPCD. In tier two cities, the supply is just half of the recommendation, whereas the per capita recommendation is 90 LPCD.

While the state announces new schemes to augment drinking water supply, the existing supply would deteriorate further as Tamil Nadu is losing its catchment areas and groundwater table due to heavy urbanisation. “Now, with the concept of state creating more land banks to attract investors underway, the water demand will shoot further by 20 per cent over the next decade and where is the new fresh water resource coming to meet the growing demand?

“Chennai was not prepared for the unprecedented floods which played havoc last December and we are yet learn our water management lessons. Velachery is known for its water bodies and needs a dedicated team to protect the existing natural resources suffering encroachments and I have raised this issue in the Assembly”, said Velachery MLA Vaagai Chandrasekhar.

“We should rise to the occasion by taking precautionary measures for flood control through integrated water resource management and this would incidentally conserve water”, said RTI activist P Balausbramanian, who is also an author on ‘Energy Auditing’. “No concrete steps have been taken by successive governments when it comes to water management and conservation. You spend taxpayers money on flood relief or procure water through a desalination plant, so where is the concept of being self-sufficient in water management”, he added.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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