Special Correspondent

COIMBATORE: Even as it seems to put up a brave front, the Coimbatore Corporation is worried over the delay in the revival of the South West Monsoon in Kerala, where the Siruvani Dam is located. The dam supplies drinking water to one half of the city, three municipalities and a number of panchayats.

But, because of being totally dependent on monsoon, water level in the dam is receding. The Coimbatore Corporation says the drinking water situation looks grim and the city may be plunged into scarcity if the monsoon does not revive soon.

“We may have to think of supply water once in four day, from the present alternate day supply,” Mayor R. Venkatachalam said. “But, we will wait for 10 days and then take a decision after consultation with all the parties in the Corporation Council,” he said on Tuesday.

Changes to the supply schedule were a very sensitive issue. For the last three years, the Corporation had managed to continue with alternate day supply even when the level dipped during summer. But, the situation had not been this bad in the last three years.

Water supply officials feared that if the monsoon failed, the situation would become as bad as the one in 2003. The dam hit dead storage in June that year.

In May that year, the level was just 15 ft, as against the full reservoir level of 67 ft.

That year, 15 million litres of Pilloor water were diverted to Siruvani-served areas. Now, this would be a difficult task because of the rise in the number of water connections in the Pilloor-served areas, the sources pointed out. The Pilloor Dam, however, was in a comfortable position now. It had water up to 70 ft, as against the full reservoir level of 100 ft, they said.

Water from Avilanchi, Kunda and a couple of other dams would be released to Pilloor Dam to sustain a level that should provide enough drinking water to the eastern parts of the city and more than 500 panchayats.

But, there was no such option with regard to the Siruvani scheme. Though the water level was 37 ft on Tuesday, the Corporation and other local bodies could draw only up to 27 ft. The rest of the water was for the wildlife in the Siruvani forests.

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