SALEM: The Mettur dam is back in the news, but for a wrong reason. Its level has dropped so drastically that drinking water supply to Salem city has taken a bad hit, forcing the Corporation to make a tough decision – snap over 1,000 commercial connections. The dam is also the lifeline of delta farmers, who depend on its supply for a good yield. Against the full reservoir level of 120 ft, its level as on Saturday stood at a mere 26.45 ft with an inflow of an insignificant 37 cusecs and discharge of 500 cusecs.
Worried over ensuring water distribution to residences, the civic body has announced disconnecting 1,387 commercial connections as a temporary measure from April 10. The city, which receives water from Mettur-Salem dedicated water supply scheme and Attur-Nangavalli scheme, has 1.2 lakh water connections.
Making it public that 1,387 commercial connections would be disconnected, the Corporation has appealed to them to make alternative arrangements.
Salem District Hotel Owners’ Association is shocked over the announcement. Its secretary P L Palanisamy said, “We too are providing water only to the people. All the customers coming to hotels cannot afford to buy mineral water, a 1 litre bottle of which costs `25. Most of them ask only for ‘normal’ water.” He said `3,000 is paid to the civic body for commercial connection.
“We need to give priority to general public. The commercial establishments can tap other sources. It is up to them to approach court,” said Commissioner K R Selvaraj.