Supply to Tiruchirapalli has come down by 16 MLD

The combined yield from five of the six drinking water pumping stations on the Cauvery riverbed has dipped by about 24 million litres a day (MLD) owing to the continuing drought like situation, causing problems in filling up the overhead tanks (OHT) that supply water to different parts of the city over the past 15 days.

The five additional borewells sunk recently by the Tiruchirapalli City Corporation on the riverbed at Kambarasampettai had helped tide over the situation to a certain extent by yielding about 8.36 MLD. Currently, the city was being supplied about 82 MLD against the normal of 98 MLD.

Steps were being taken to provide supply to the severely affected and tail-end areas of the distribution mains areas through tankers and sinking additional borewells locally. Efforts were also on to supply water to 23 OHTs up to Ponmalaipatti from the new drinking water augmentation scheme within the next couple of weeks. However, if the yield from the water sources in the Cauvery bed continued to fall over the next fortnight, the Corporation will be forced to go in for alternative days supply for residents in the city. This was crux of the presentations made by civic officials at a special consultative meeting with Corporation councillors convened by Mayor A.Jaya to discuss the drinking water supply situation in the city on Friday.

Councillors, cutting across party lines, complained that the OHTs in their respective wards were not filling up, resulting in short supply. Even the old municipal areas which were getting abundant twice-a-day supply were now getting water supply for hardly 30 minutes a day. Water supplied through tankers proved inadequate in many parts of the city, they said.

Responding to the complaints, Corporation Commissioner V.P. Thandapani said the yield from all the water schemes on the Cauvery river, except the Srirangam water scheme, has fallen drastically. Sixteen of the deep borewells around the collector wells on the riverbed have failed and the yield from the 30 others was coming down too. However, the collector wells are pumping water round-the-clock even without the usual rest of two to three hours a day. Daily supply was being given to all except six of the 65 wards in the city.

Within the next couple of weeks, the flushing operation on the pumping mains from the Collector Well 3 of the new drinking water scheme will be completed and water would be supplied to 23 OHTs up to Ponmalaipatti. This will greatly help tide over the situation. Borewells will be sunk wherever necessary. So far 428 complaints have been received over the toll free numbers set up in the Corporation and 411 complaints were solved immediately.

Mr.Thandapani directed assistant commissioners and assistant executive engineers to inspect and assess the problems pointed out by the councillors this weekend and come up with plans of action to sort out the same.

R.Chandran, Executive Engineer, said the drinking water shortage owing to the drought like conditions was reminiscent of similar situations faced by the city in 2001 and 2004. But the steps taken by the Corporation in anticipation of the problem has helped manage the situation so far. “If the situation continued for another 15 days, the civic body may to have think of taking recourse to introducing water supply on alternative days in the city,” he said. However, steps were being taken to provide supply through alternative measures to the worst affected wards, he said.