A.V. Ragunathan

CUDDALORE: Owing to the low storage level in the Veeranam tank, Metrowater authorities on Monday suspended pumping out water for supply to Chennai.

They have fallen back on scores of giant borewells, while restricting the supply to less than 60 per cent of the regular quota.

Sources said that it had been tentatively decided to draw 40 cusecs from the borewells. This would result in a shortfall of 35 cusecs.

With the southwest monsoon playing truant and the Mettur dam not getting adequate supply either from Karnataka or its catchment, inflow into the Veeranam tank had virtually stopped and officials had to shut down the pumping operation at the Boothangudi point. On Monday, the tank level stood at 39 ft as against the maximum level of 47.5 ft (which is calculated on the basis of the mean sea level and not the original water span).

Whenever the storage level in the Mettur dam is comfortable, the tank gets ample supply through the Vadavar. This facilitates continuous pumping out of 75 cusecs of water for Chennai. In the last three years there has been more than adequate rainfall in the State and there was a steady supply to the tank from the Mettur dam.