CHENNAI: Chennai will have to wait longer than planned to make use of its fifth reservoir being built in Tiruvallur district. Continuous rains in the Uthukottai-Gummudipoondi stretch have been delaying work for the past two months and hence, it will take four more months to complete the construction, said officials.
The reservoir, being built by combining two lakes in Thervoy Kandigai and Kannankottai villages, was supposed to be ready by September 30 as per the Public Works Department's initial plan. But with 20 per cent of the work remaining, the project is yet again delayed. "We are trying to complete a portion of the reservoir by October 31 so that nearly 200 mcft of water can be stored when the northeast monsoon sets in. We need 60 days more to complete crucial works," said a senior official from the Water Resource Department.
Officials said that in the last two months, workers could engage in construction work only for 10 days due to rains. Also, the supply of rough stone used in covering the watershed area of the reservoir has not been regular which further delayed the progress. "These rough stones are sourced from a place 100 km away from the project site. Sometimes supply is not regular. Moreover, even if it rains lightly, trucks carrying these stones will not be able to enter the site," added the official. The project has been going on for the past six years and faced major opposition from local villagers over land acquisition.
In October, 2018, construction of the reservoir started after overcoming legal hurdles. Though officials are very confident of reaping the benefits of northeast monsoon, works worth `28 crore are still pending.
Krishna water distribution soon
As the Poondi reservoir is fast filling up with a steady supply of 800 cusecs of Krishna river water, officials said supply of the river water to the city would begin in two days.
As water level has crossed the transferrable point in the Poondi reservoir, water will be diverted to Red Hills from where it will be treated and supplied to the city by Metro Water. As of now, the Poondi reservoir has a storage of around 940 mcft which makes the transfer of water possible to Red Hills reservoir which has low storage of 49 mcft.
Thanks to the Krishna water supply, the combined storage of four reservoirs has crossed 1 tmcft for the first time in nearly eight months. "We are focusing on supplying Krishna water to north and central Chennai first by filling up the Poondi and Red Hills reservoirs. South Chennai's needs are met by supply from the Veeranam dam and two desalination plants. Also, we can only send below 500 cusecs to the Red Hills reservoir as the feeder canal can only hold that much water," said a PWD official.