Carrying out works at a total cost of nearly Rs. 293 crore

Conscious of the growing demand for drinking water in urban areas in the coming weeks, the State administration is gearing up itself to tackle the situation by carrying out various works at a total cost of nearly Rs. 293 crore.

With the failure of southwest and northeast monsoons in 2012, the pressure on available water resources has become greater. Against the normal annual rainfall of 92 cm, the State received 71 cm in 2012, a shortfall of 23 per cent. The poor realisation of the Cauvery water has also compounded the situation.

While Chennai Metrowater is implementing contingency plan for the now-expanded limits of Chennai Corporation, different arms of the State Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department such as Commissionerate of Municipal Administration, Directorate of Town Panchayats and the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board are taking care of the remaining urban parts of the State.

As for other urban local bodies than Chennai Corporation, the administration has broadly divided them into Cauvery delta districts and non-delta districts. In the Cauvery delta districts that cover Tiruchi corporation and 18 municipalities, the contingency plan drawn up by the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration has been completed, an official says, adding that the execution of works under the Integrated Urban Development Mission (IUDM), a flagship scheme of the present regime, has come handy in general in ensuring the water supply position smooth.

Source augmentation, transportation of water through lorries, hiring of generators to ensure continuous water supply, flushing and deepening of the existing bore wells, erecting additional borewells and installing street-side water tanks are among the measures being taken up by the agencies.

For example, in non-delta districts that include eight municipal corporations, the plan is to have borewells with hand pumps in about 1,330 locations and bore-wells with mini power pumps in about 2,660 locations, both of which will cost about Rs. 68.47 crore. In these areas, arrangements for transporting water through lorries for the next six months are estimated to cost around Rs. 24 crore.

As for Chennai, the commissioning of 100-MLD (million litres a day) Nemmeli desalination plant a few months ago has made things easier for Metrowater in catering to the requirements of areas in southern parts of the city such as Velachery, Adyar, Thiruvanmiyur and Indira Nagar.

The water agency is planning to put up a total of 2,000 Mark II hand pumps additionally in May and June. It has repaired about 650 bore wells with about 400 more to cover this month. Nearly 1,200 street-side tanks are to be installed.

As for source augmentation, Metrowater has completed the work of drawing 40 MLD more, of which 25 MLD comes from the Neyveli aquifer and 15 MLD from Chennai well fields, located on the northern outskirts of the city. It is going ahead with its plans to get 25 MLD more from the Neyveli; 30 MLD from Paravanar river near Neyveli and 15 MLD from the well fields. All these plans are meant to ensure that the supply of about 830 million litres a day (MLD) is maintained in the coming months.

The authorities are expecting the resumption of Krishna water supply from Andhra Pradesh to the State by the end of May.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National