“The water level will meet the city’s needs only till May 5”

With the water level in Vaigai dam falling to as low as 22.87 feet (full level is 71 feet) and Madurai Corporation authorities indicating that the available water will be sufficient to meet the demand only till May 5, a serious water scarcity is looming over the city.

The month of May might see more dry taps, long queues of people to fetch water from available sources and anxious wait for tankers.

City Engineer A. Mathuram has appealed to the public to understand the gravity of the situation and cooperate with the authorities.

“The Corporation is working on a war footing to meet the demand. Since the Vaigai dam storage will be enough only till May 5, it is going to be a challenging task. Groundwater sources are the only hope now,” he said.

The Corporation had dug 420 borewells in various places and deployed additional fleet of vehicles to supply drinking water to residential areas. While the city’s normal requirement is 150 Million Litres per Day (MLD), the present scenario would make it possible to supply only 30 MLD.

“The Corporation has also identified 50 private wells in places such as Kochadai, Oomachikulam and Chinnaudaippu from where we will draw water,” Mr. Mathuram said, adding the water in these wells had already been tested for consumption quality. “Till now, we have been able to supply drinking water once in four days, but that may get difficult. Our priority will be the people living in slum areas and those from economically backward segments,” he noted.

V. Arumugam, Assistant Engineer (Zone-2), said in many areas the public were staging protest though the Corporation was regularly supplying water.

“The Corporation Commissioner is holding review meetings daily and we are planning to supply 15 loads per ward depending on water availability. Already 21 borewells have been dug in Vandiyur,” he said.

Areas such as K.K. Nagar, Maanagiri, Sathamangalam, K. Pudur, Sambakulam and Uthangudi in Zone-2 had great demand for water.

“The water yield is very low and the rain is the only hope now. The Corporation will keep a watch on drawing of water through illegal connections, and such connections will be disconnected,” Mr. Arumugam added.

Meanwhile, the level in Periyar dam stood at 109.60 feet (permissible level is 136 feet) on Tuesday with an inflow of 100 cusecs and a discharge of 100 cusecs. Though there is no inflow to Vaigam dam, 40 cusecs are being discharged.

The combined storage in Periyar credit was 351 mcft. There was no rainfall during the 24 hours ending at 8.30 a.m. on Tuesday.

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