City gets its first train-load of water in 18 years

Water is decanted from the train at Villivakkam on Friday.

Water is decanted from the train at Villivakkam on Friday.

Chennai received its first water train, after a gap of 18 years, from Vellore district on Friday. Nearly 2.5 million litres of water was transported by the train.

The much-awaited water special consisting of 50 wagons was received by Local Administration Minister S.P. Velumani near the Villivakkam railway station. The train covered the over 200-km distance from Jolarpet to Villivakkam railway station in four hours.

Addressing journalists, Mr. Velumani said that Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting allotment of another special train for transporting water to the city. He said a total of 10 mld of water is to be brought from Jolarpet in two dedicated trains daily to tide over the city’s water crisis.

Ministers at a reception for the water train from Jolarpet, in Chennai on Friday

Ministers at a reception for the water train from Jolarpet, in Chennai on Friday


Big reception

State Ministers D. Jayakumar, ‘Ma Foi’ K. Pandiarajan and P. Benjamin were also on hand to receive the train. Senior railway officials, including Chennai Divisional Railway Manager P. Mahesh, and Chennai Metrowater officials were also present.

A senior official of the Southern Railway said two rakes of tankers were readied at Kota workshop of the West Central Railway. Each wagon has a capacity to carry 50,000 litres of water. The 50-wagon train would be pulled by two dedicated locomotives — one at the front and the other at the rear — to help cut down travel as well as turnaround time.

The water train was flagged off by Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board Managing Director C.N. Mahesvaran at Jolarpet. He advised officials to monitor the movement of water from the pumping station at Mettusakkarakuppam through pipelines regularly to avoid any spillage. Mr. Mahesvaran said the surplus water supplied from Mettur to various places in Vellore district under the Vellore Combined Water Supply Scheme was being diverted to Chennai. Other places which are benefiting from the scheme include Ambur, Salem, Gudiyatham and Arakkonam. The required infrastructure was built at a cost of ₹5 crore near Jolarpet railway station in one week to fill the wagons. Water decanted from the train near South Jagannathan Nagar, Villivakkam, will pass through a conduit line, which originally brought water from Red Hills.

The pipeline will carry the water to Kilpauk water works from where it will be distributed to areas in Central and North Chennai such as Triplicane, Ayanavaram and Perambur. This water will enable Metrowater to sustain supply at 525 mld, officials said. The number of trips is slated to go up in the coming days. It will take nearly 12 hours for one train to complete a round trip, including loading and unloading of water. “We will be able to get 10-11 mld with two trains making four trips daily,” said an official.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 1:59:02 pm |