Authorities are planning to invoke the emergency clause of the Land Acquisition Act for acquiring land for the proposed drinking water reservoir in Thervai Kandigai of Tiruvallur district.

The reservoir is meant for drinking water supply to Chennai with a capacity to hold water up to one thousand million cubic feet (TMC). A total of about 1,250 acres is required, of which 560 acres belong to the government. The private land will be around 700 acres.

The emergency clause (section 4 [1]) enables the expeditious acquisition of land. The authorities are also proposing to give a maximum of 150 per cent of the revised guideline values of the lands to be acquired towards compensation to landowners concerned. Those who are willing to hand over their lands will be given this concession whereas the authorities are contemplating applying the emergency clause in respect of others.

An official says the land planning schedule is being prepared. It will indicate exactly which lands are to be required and acquired. Once this is done, the notification will be issued, which is expected by March-end.

Though the time frame for the execution of the reservoir project has been set as two years, the official says it may take about a year for the commencement of execution. A period of two years has to be set apart for the completion of the project.

The new reservoir will essentially be used for storing the Krishna waters, the official adds.