Water to be ferried to Chennai by train from Jolarpet, says TN CM

Chennai: Water-starved Chennai is all set to get some relief as Tamilnadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami Friday said 10 million litres would be transported from Jolarpet in Vellore district by train to augment supply.

This initiative will be carried on for six months and Rs 65 crore has been set apart for the purpose, he said. Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board has been allocated Rs 158.42 crore for water distribution here, he said. Other state agencies, including the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board, have been provided Rs 108.32 crore to ensure water supply in other parts of the State, he said addressing a press conference here at the Secretariat.

On the water shortage here and steps to augment supplies, he said that despite the Poondi, Chembarambakkam, Sholavaram and Red Hills reservoirs having dried up, supplies were being made through multiple avenues like groundwater sources, abandoned quarries and desalination plants.

A total of 525 MLD was being supplied every day, he said. Senior officials have been assigned to monitor all zones in the city to ensure adequate supply, and 800 tankers were making 9,800 trips daily to various areas, he said.

Also, Veeranam lake (Cuddalore District) water is being brought to Chennai, he added. “As far as Chennai is concerned, the government is providing water as quickly as possible,” he said. Steps have been taken to ensure water supply to villages and other regions too and funds were also allocated well before the start of Lok Sabha elections to ensure proper water distribution.

Also, work was followed up post polls, he noted. On work to repair and strengthen water bodies to increase storage, he said work was already on. As regards 39,202 lakes in Tamilnadu, he reeled out statistics to say that desilting work was being undertaken periodically under the “Kudimaramathu,” (participation of local people scheme) plan to increase storage level in such water bodies.

Strengthening work, including desilting initiatives have already begun in three of the four reservoirs work here. As regards Poondi reservoir, he said an individual has moved the court and desilting work would begin after getting environmental clearance.

A government press release, meanwhile, said the Chief Minister ordered an additional Rs 200 crore for drinking water related initiatives following a review meeting held to assess the water shortage situation.