The city’s four reservoirs in Poondi, Cholavaram, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam have less than 35% of the total water needed during summer | AP Photo
Chennaiites, who have been worried over reports of depleting water reserves, can heave a sigh of relief as the city expects to get 300 cusecs of water from the Krishna river in the next 20 days.
Water supply to Tamil Nadu from the Kandleru reservoir was suspended after the AP irrigation department began temporary repair works on the Uppalamadagu canal near Kalahasti, officials in the State’s Water Resources Department (WRD) said. Officials told Express that Chennai would receive around 300 cusecs water after temporary repairs on the canal are carried out in the coming 20 days.
As per an inter-state agreement inked in 1976, Tamil Nadu is entitled to 15 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) of water between April and June under the Telugu Ganga project.
Back home, Chennai faces a water crisis as the Metro Water and WRD bank on a normal monsoon to make good for the deficient water resources. “We expect the monsoon to arrive by the end of this month,” a WRD official said. Metro water sources said the they are banking on south-east monsoon which is expected to hit the city by June.
For residents in North Chennai, the problem of inadequate water supply is compounded by the greed of private water supply agencies that have swooped in to reap the benefits of the demand-supply gap.
“Earlier, we used to get uninterrupted water supply from 4 am to 7 am. The flow has now drastically gone down. We have to shell out Rs 1,200 for a lorry of water, if it is booked from a private agency. Metro Water lorries come only two days after you book it, though it costs only `600,” said Satish, a resident of Santhome.
On its part, the Metro Water has already prepared a contingency plan to ensure uninterrupted supply to the city. However, there are a few places in Tambaram and Pallavaram, where residents are struggling to meet their daily water needs.
Metro Water sources said municipalities get 60 lorries of water a day from the Palar basin. A Tambaram municipality official said the area receives just 87 lakh litres from Palar now, as against the 1.27 crore litres they used to get before summer. “We are also in the process of setting up 12 bore wells for 30 lakh litres more. So there won’t be a question of shortage,” said M Karikalan, Tambaram municipal chairman.
The city’s four reservoirs in Poondi, Cholavaram, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam have less than 35% of the total water needed during summer. The city supplies 830 mld of water a day.