K. Lakshmi

Another comfortable year of water supply to the city ahead

CHENNAI: The Krishna water supply project has achieved a significant milestone as water realised at the Poondi reservoir is being released simultaneously to the other two major city reservoirs for the first time since the inter-State project was implemented.

This also spells another comfortable year of water supply to the city.

The project, on which Tamil Nadu Government has spent about Rs.214 crore towards the Kandaleru-Poondi canal and for which it has given Rs.512 crore to Andhra Pradesh as its share, has reaped the most benefit after a decade, said a Public Works Department official.

Poondi reservoir

The Poondi reservoir, which started receiving water from the Kandaleru reservoir in Andhra Pradesh since mid-December, now has 2,851 million cubic feet of water. As it has only one foot of space available, the water received from the neighbouring State was distributed to Red Hills and Cholavaram reservoirs in order to step up the storage.

Another PWD official said this was the first time in the project's history that the water realised at the entry point in Uthukottai, which sets the State border, was transmitted for filling up city reservoirs simultaneously. The entry point of the State received about 500 cubic feet per second of water on Wednesday.

He said that inflow into the Poondi reservoir was 450 cusecs.

Surplus water diverted

As the Red Hills reservoir was fast filling up with water carried through the 500-cusec-capacity feeder canal, surplus water was diverted to Cholavaram through baby canal for a week now.

Another highlight this year was that the Chembarambakkam reservoir received about 35 mcft water through link canal for the first time since its construction a decade ago as part of the project.

A PWD official recalled that the reservoir realised water only from its catchment areas so far. Water transferred to Chembarambakkam on trial basis last week has been stopped to facilitate filling up of the Cholavaram reservoir.

This year also marks maximum realisation of Krishna water in short span from the neighbouring State. Though Tamil Nadu realised about 6.5 tmc of water in 2000, it was spread across nine months.

`Almost realised 5 tmc of water'

"We have almost realised about 5 tmc of water within four months this year, which sets a new record," the official said. About 1.9 tmc was realised in about a month since the water release during December. The State could have realised 12 tmc of water, which was the quantum assured by Andhra Pradesh as per the agreement in 1983. But, the release from the Kandaleru reservoir was requested to be stopped in view of northeast monsoon rain, the official added.

The officials expect the city reservoirs to be filled up by the end of February if the same rate of inflow continued.