K. V. Prasad

The Coimbatore Corporation has planned to reduce by an hour the duration of supply of drinking water in the wake of the dipping water level in the Siruvani Dam. The decision was taken after taking stock of the situation on Friday, according to Mayor R. Venkatachalam.

The Mayor told The Hindu that wherever the supply was being made between two and four hours on alternate days, it would be reduced by an hour. But, there was no move yet to change from alternate day supply. Another review would be made after three days, he said.

Commissioner P. Muthuveeran and City Engineer V. Raju visited the dam on Friday to assess the situation. It was found that alternate day supply could be made for another 23 days, officials in the Corporation said. The Commissioner also ordered the allocation of Rs. 40 lakh for sinking 32 borewells immediately to provide water for purposes other than drinking and cooking. The city already had more than 600 bore wells.

Realising there could be public resentment over the change, the Mayor said Corporation officials had actually suggested rescheduling the supply to once in four days. "We then felt that a sudden and drastic rescheduling would inconvenience the people. So, we thought a gradual reduction that began with a cut in the duration would prepare the people to adjust with the situation," he said.

Mr. Venkatachalam said the valve operators across the city would be told of the changes in supply duration. They would also visit every house to check whether people used motors to illegally draw water from the lines.

"Unauthorised use of motors will attract stringent punishment. As per rules, water line is normally disconnected for this offence. We will view such an offence very seriously this time," the Mayor said. "Anyone found using the motor will have to remain without water supply connection for six months," he said.

Extra vigil would be maintained if water were to be supplied at night. The chances of using motors during night were more, the Mayor said.

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