Madurai Corporation foresees no imminent threat: Mayor

The Corporation foresees no imminent threat to the regular water supply to the city this summer. However, it is taking no chances and is drawing up an alternative plan to avert a water crisis, Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa said.

The present storage in the Vaigai dam would last till mid June under the existing system of water supply – daily water supply in majority of the old Madurai city (72 wards) and alternate day supply in few pockets, he said.

Talking to reporters here on Monday after a visit to the Vaigai dam, the primary source of drinking water for old Madurai city, he said that the 72 wards were being supplied 117 million litres of water a day (MLD) or 85 litres per individual a day (LPCD) under the two Vaigai drinking water projects.

Among the added areas, Tirupparankundram, Tirunagar, Harveypatti, Vilangudi and Avaniyapuram were being served 50 LPCD with water drawn through the infiltration wells on the Vaigai riverbed. “With the riverbed becoming dry due to lack of adequate flow of water, we will request the Public Works Department to release water from the Vaigai dam to recharge the wells,” Commissioner R. Nanthagopal, said.

PWD officials would be asked to take up river wetting with 150 million cubic feet (mcft) of water release each during February, March and April, he added.

Besides, the Corporation has decided to sink two deep borewells each in all the 28 wards of the added areas to supply water through mini water pump scheme.

“Already 18 tankers were supplying water to the added areas. If need be, we will augment the fleet with an additional 15 tanker lorries,” Mr. Nanthagopal said.

The Mayor added that Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has promised to support the Corporation to overcome the water shortage. “We will soon send a detailed report on our requirement to the State Government,” Mr. Chellappa said. The local body was in the process of identifying agricultural wells in the suburban areas from where water could be drawn through tankers for supplementing the Vaigai water supply, City Engineer (in-charge), A. Madhuram, said.

As a precautionary measure to prevent illegal tapping of water by damaging the main pipeline bringing water from Vaigai dam to the city in downstream villages, a special patrol team has been formed to monitor the pipelines.

Stating that the local body had seized over 300 electric motor pumps used for illegal suction of water in the city, the Commissioner said that people were free to draw the attention of the officials to any such incident in their locality.

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