Tiruvallur district will soon get its fifth reservoir to meet the growing drinking needs of Chennai. The Water Resources Department has initiated the process by inviting bids from firms for consultancy service to conduct environment studies for the project.

The consultants are required to get clearance from Environment Impact Assessment Authority of Central government for the proposed reservoir with a capacity to hold up to one thousand million cubic feet of water, by filling it twice. Chennai now gets its water supply from Poondi, Cholavaram, Chembarampakkam and Red Hills reservoirs. The new reservoir would combine the two tanks in Kannan Kottai and Thervai Kandigai villages in Gummidipoondi taluk. The tanks now have a capacity to store nearly 50 mcft. The proposed reservoir would have a water spread area of over 1,100 acre. Officials of the WRD said that a total of 1,384 acre needs to be acquired. Of this, nearly 645 acres is government land and the remaining are private lands. The department has provided land planning schedule to the Tiruvallur collectorate. As nearly 19 acres to be acquired are forest land, clearance needs to be obtained from the Forest department. The schedule would have details about the lands that are to be acquired. Of the total project cost of Rs.330 crore allotted by the State government, nearly Rs.170 crore has been set aside for land acquisition.

Every year, a minimum of one thousand million cubic feet (tmcft), which translates to one month of drinking water supply to Chennai, is drained into the sea during monsoon owing to lack of storage. An earthen bund running a distance of 6.8 km would be formed for the new reservoir, which would essentially store Krishna water released from Andhra Pradesh. The department also plans to form a 7.5 km canal that would branch off from the 900-metre point of the Kandaleru-Poondi canal, which is used to transmit Krishna water, to divert water to the new reservoir, the sources said.