CHENNAI: With the city and surrounding districts facing an acute water crisis, the Southern Railway has started transporting water by trains to meet its operational needs, including for the consumption of passengers.
On Sunday, 4.5 lakh litres was brought from Chengalpattu by a special train, to meet the needs of coach maintenance depot at Basin Bridge and Central Station. “The water was sourced from borewells in Chengalpattu, filled in 20 plastic tanks and brought to the city by a special train comprising 10 wagons,” said a senior railway official.
“Two rakes comprising 10 wagons each, with carrying capacity of 2.5 lakh and 4.5 lakh litres, have been engaged in transporting water for the past few weeks,” the official said.
According to officials, the yard in Basin Bridge has an average daily requirement of 12 lakh litres of water -- mostly for the primary maintenance of 300-320 trains everyday. The requirement at MGR Central Station, which handles about 65,000 passengers every day, is a staggering 10 lakh litres.
Due to the depletion of the groundwater levels in Basin Bridge, Mannady, Periamet and neighbouring areas, Southern Railway is now fully dependent on water supplied by Metro Water and private tankers. The supply from Metro Water is received at storage tanks in Tiruvottriyur.
About 3.5 lakh of water generated by the recycling plant at Basin Bridge is used for cleaning coaches. However, supply of water to trains is the problem.
“About 3.5 lakh litres of water generated by the recycling plant at Basin Bridge is used for cleaning coaches. However, supply of water to trains is the problem, thanks to the shortage,” say officials.
Every coach has four tanks mounted on roof with capacity of 450-600-litres. A coach requires about 1,500 to 2,000 litres of water per trip. A train has to be supplied about 40,000 litres of water to fill tanks. “We mostly try to fill tanks, depending on the availability of water. If the tanks are not filled, we alert the next filling station - Jolarpettai, Erode or Villupuram. All efforts are made to provide adequate water supply despite the scarcity,” added the official.
About 55 trains originate at the MGR Chennai Central Railway Station and 33 trains leave the Chennai Egmore Station on a daily basis.
4.5 lakh litres of water transported by special train from Chengalpattu to Chennai
The water is to cater to the needs of the Basin Bridge coaching yard, MGR Central station and trains
The per day demand of Basin Bridge yard is 12 lakh litres and MGR Central is 10 lakh litres
Two trains with a capacity of 2.5 lakh and 4.5 lakh litres involved in transporting water
The water demand is met by Chennai Metro Water and private tankers
About 3.5 lakh litres of water generated by recycling plant is reused for cleaning coaches
A train requires roughly about 40,000 litres of water
Rain only in isolated areas, says IMD; TN air may get drier this week
Chennai: Owing to the formation of a low pressure area in Arabian Sea, air in Tamil Nadu is likely to get drier this week, according to Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai.
“We estimate that the low pressure may intensify and become a depression or even a cyclonic storm. If that happens, there will be good rain in Kerala,” said an official from the centre adding that this will increase the strength of westerlies that bring dry air into Tamil Nadu.
According to the weather bulletin on Sunday, Theni, Coimbatore and The Nilgiris districts may receive heavy rain and Dindigul, Madurai, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Tiruchy, Pudukottai and Sivaganga districts may have thunderstorms with heavy wind on Sunday. On Monday, the maximum temperature is likely to be above normal by 2- 3 degree Celsius.
DMK urges govt to convene Assembly to discuss water crisis
Chennai: The DMK has urged the government to convene the Assembly at the earliest to discuss the prevailing drinking water crisis and other critical issues in the State. In a release on Sunday, MK Stalin said it was sad that the Assembly had not been convened to discuss grant for demand after presentation of the budget. The government has never discussed the crises of the common public, he rued.
MLAs supply water
DMK is supplying drinking water through 13 tankers in Kolathur Assembly constituency. Party president MK Stalin who is also Kolathur MLA, visited the area on Sunday and enquired the public about their grievances. PK Sekar Babu, MLA, told Express, “Since June 1, we are supplying water through 10 tankers. From Sunday, we have added three tankers.”