The dwindling storage in the Vaigai dam has put the Corporation on alert and officials are ready with alternative arrangement to supply water to city residents if the monsoon failed to bring in copious flow of water to the reservoir.

While inspecting, the Vaigai dam and the Corporation’s water treatment plant at Pannaipatti on Monday, Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa, who was accompanied by the corporation councillors, exuded confidence that the present storage could last for up to 50 days for providing alternative day supply of water to the city.

“We are expecting the monsoon to set in the next few days. There has been no short supply of water to the (old) city through the Vaigai I and II water schemes. Only a few pockets in the extended area where local water supply schemes were in place were facing shortage in supply,” the Mayor said.

As of now, Madurai was in a better position than other local bodies with regard to water supply, he added.

Periyar water

The Mayor added that the Corporation would make a formal request to the Public Works Department to replenish the storage in Vaigai dam with the Periyar water as an immediate measure to tackle the water problem.

Besides plans to sink borewells in the city, the Corporation has identified other water sources for supplying water through tankers in case the monsoon failed again.

The Mayor said that the purpose of taking the councillors to the dam and the water treatment plant was to enlighten them about the functioning of the water schemes.

The storage in the Vaigai dam has fallen to 483 mcft, which is inclusive of the dead storage. The 72 wards of the old city with a population of over 12 lakh, which is pre-dominantly dependent on the Vaigai dam, have to rely on the monsoon to quench its drinking water requirement till June 2013.

Illegal tapping

He said that equitable water distribution was, by and large, done in the city, except in certain areas where illegal tapping of piped water supply were reported. “Our officials have seized at least 10 electric motors in each of the zones in the last few days. People say that they do not face any problem in water supply whenever there was power cut. The problem starts only when there is power, which indicates illegal tapping,” he said.

The officials would continue to monitor suspicious houses where illegal tapping is likely to take place and initiate action, including seizure of motors and disconnection of water supply in the coming days.

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