CHENNAI: A day after Kerala government’s offer to send 20 lakh litres of water to Chennai, as a goodwill gesture, to help the city tide over the current shortage was turned down by Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Friday said the neighbouring State’s cooperation in increasing storage levels at Mullaiperiyar Dam would be of greater help.
While thanking his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan for making the offer, Palaniswami said a single consignment of 2 million litres would be insufficient in meeting the current requirements of the city. “The requirement in Chennai is 525 million litres per day (MLD) and Tamil Nadu will write to Kerala seeking 2 MLD.
The Chief Minister also announced that 10 MLD would be brought to Chennai from Jolarpettai by trains for the next six months. He sanctioned Rs 65 crore to cover the costs. An official release said the government was spending Rs 710 crore on efforts to supply water and mitigate the current crisis.
Palaniswami chaired a high-level meeting on Friday to discuss the water crisis. Addressing the media after the meeting, Palaniswami underscored the need for Kerala’s cooperation in strengthening the Mullaiperiyar Dam. “The Supreme Court passed a verdict to strengthen the dam and increase its storage level to 152 feet,” said the Chief Minister.
“Three years back, Tamil Nadu allocated Rs 7.85 crore for the works. But Kerala government has been hindering the process,” he alleged. “People living in five districts of Tamil Nadu are using water from the dam.” Now that Kerala has completed its Idamalayar project, it must give no-objection certificate for Tamil Nadu to implement the Anamalayar-Nallar project, Palaniswami said, adding that the project would benefit farmers.
Denying media reports that ministers were getting two lorries of water per day, he said, “There are many visitors and employees at my residence. Food is provided to those who visit my house. So, water is also needed. I use just two buckets of water and drink four or five litres of water per day. That’s all.”
Ending the meeting, Palaniswami said: “Issues such as drinking water must not be politicised.” The message was intended for DMK and its chief MK Stalin.