CHENNAI: Despite opposition from local residents, the Water Resources Department (WRD) is preparing a pre-feasibility report to enhance the storage of Poondi reservoir from the existing 35 feet to 37.
Chennai and suburbs receive their drinking water primarily from Poondi, which can store 3.231 tmcft of water. Given the water requirement in future, the State government chalked out plans to increase the storage of the reservoir and store up to five tmcft of water.
Meanwhile, residents in Tiruvallur district near the reservoir oppose enhancing the storage. R Mohanrao, a resident of Pandur village told TNIE, that there were over 10 villages around this reservoir and whenever the storage crossed 32 feet, most of these villages were flooded and thousands of residents severely affected.
These villagers would suffer if the reservoir’s storage was increased. They petitioned the Tiruvallur Collector and WRD officials many times to find alternative water sources instead of increasing the reservoir’s storage. The requests, however, fell on deaf ears, Mohanrao said.
Another resident S Subramanian of Gandhigramam said WRD officials inspected the bund and its shutters a few weeks back, but they did not inform anything about enhancing the storage. “We are not opposed to enhancing storage of the reservoir, but the government should ensure no one village will be affected by the project” he said.
A senior WRD official told TNIE that during monsoon, the reservoir receives more inflow and surplus water is released into the Kosasthalaiyar River. Hence, to save water, they are planning to enhance the storage.
“A team will analyse the advantages and disadvantages and prepare the pre-feasibility report, which will be submitted to the government in October,” he said.