The Siruvani tug-of-war between the Coimbatore Corporation and the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board appears to have ended.
According to sources, at a meeting in Chennai a couple of days ago, the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department decided that the Corporation rightfully owned the Siruvani project and that it was entitled to pay only the operation and maintenance charges to the TWAD Board.
Both the Corporation and the Board claimed that it owned the Siruvani Drinking Water Supply Scheme and the latter said that the Corporation owed it Rs. 153 crore towards water and operation and maintenance charges.
After a long struggle that saw each side make claims and counter claims and present evidence after evidence, the issue was finally decided a couple of days ago.
The Department officers led by Secretary K. Phahindra Reddy said that the Corporation owned the Scheme and that it ought to pay only operation and maintenance charges to the Board.
The officers also ruled that while clearing the arrears, the Corporation was entitled to deduct the O&M charges already paid.
Sources in the Corporation said that the Board would work out the final amount and raise the demand, which the civic body was ready to pay.
The O&M charges at present worked out to around Rs. 2 — Rs. 3 crore a year.
The sources said that since the launch of the Siruvani Scheme in 1982 the Corporation had paid Rs. 26 crore to the TWAD Board. The TWAD Board started the Siruvani Scheme in 1977 and commissioned it in 1982.
Meanwhile, water position in the Siruvani Dam continues to be critical. As of Saturday the water level stood at 863.88 m. Or, in other words, the Dam had only 1.57 feet water left.
The sources said that the Board supplied around 28 million litres a day to the Corporation, which utilised the same to meet the drinking water demands of only 10 wards.
To meet the water needs of the other Siruvani-fed wards, the Corporation supplied water from the Pilloor Dam.