The supply of drinking water to the city may have hit another stumbling block with the dwindling of Krishna water discharge.
For the second time in a week, a leak was found in the temporary channel laid adjacent to the Kandaleru-Poondi canal at Ubbalamadugu near Tada, Andhra Pradesh.
Since Saturday, about 60 workers have been involved in plugging the leak and reconstructing the 70-metre-long channel into a reinforced cement-concrete facility, about 100 km away from Chennai. The dip in the release of Krishna water from Kandaleru reservoir has put a strain on the reservoirs that supply drinking water to the city.
As on Monday, the reservoirs in Poondi, Red Hills, Chembarambakkam and Cholavaram stand at just 10 per cent of storage against their total capacity of 11,057 million cubic feet (mcft). Water is being transported from Poondi reservoir to Red Hills to step up the declining storage there.
Patches of dry ground are visible in some parts of the lake in Red Hills as the storage has dipped to 370 mcft against the capacity of 3,300 mcft. It has turned into a playground for children with many spending weekends and holidays on the dry bed.
Currently, Chennai is supplied with 550 million litres of water a day.
Sources in the Water Resources Department said the work to plug the leak in the channel would be completed on Monday night. However, discharge of Krishna water cannot be increased until Thursday when the curing period for the freshly constructed channel will be completed.
A team of officials from the Water Resources Department and Metrowater have been visiting the site regularly to monitor the repair work being carried out by Andhra Pradesh. The discharge of Krishna water has reduced to 100 cubic feet per second (cusecs).
Poondi reservoir receives just 32 cusecs and this will increased gradually to 400 cusecs by next week. The past week, the water body in Poondi received about 25 mcft of water, which is equal to one day’s drinking water supply to Chennai.
“If we get 300 cusecs of Krishna water daily, Poondi reservoir will be filled to its brim in three months,” an official said. Chennai will start receiving a steady inflow of Krishna water by this weekend.