Idea of drawing water from Kandaleru dam through pipelines back on charts

Laid over a distance of about 150 km, the Kandaleru-Poondi Canal can carry 1,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs)

Laid over a distance of about 150 km, the Kandaleru-Poondi Canal can carry 1,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs)  

With poor realisation of Krishna water for Chennai being the norm, the idea of drawing water from the Kandaleru dam in Andhra Pradesh through pipelines is gaining currency again among water experts.

The proposal assumes relevance in the light of the current spell of acute water shortage being faced by Chennai residents and the authorities taking enormous steps for getting much smaller quantum of water for the city.

As part of the Krishna Water Supply Project (KWSP), Chennai is to get 12 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft) annually. Laid over a distance of about 150 km, the Kandaleru-Poondi Canal can carry 1,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs). But, ever since the project was commissioned in September 1996, Chennai had never received the assured quantum of 12 tmcft in any year and the highest ever received was 8.2 tmcft in 2011-12. In the last three years, the annual realisation did not even touch the 3-tmcft-mark. The main reason attributed to the poor realisation is the method of water transfer. The KP canal is an open canal, which became lined 15 years ago, thanks to the initiative taken by the Sri Satya Sai Central Trust. But, the problem of agriculturists in the neighbouring State illegally drawing water from the canal has remained a constant feature for over 20 years.

Even at the time of the launch of the Krishna Water Supply Project in 1983, Tamil Nadu demanded that the transfer of water from Kandaleru to Poondi be done through pipelines but the neighbouring State did not agree to it. Tamil Nadu did not press its suggestion as it was more keen on getting water anyhow. As per the present arrangement, the Kandaleru dam, among others, takes care of water supply requirements for Tirupathi and Kalahasthi towns.

Pointing out that pipelines can be laid along the KP canal, V. Sivakumaran, former Chief Engineer of Chennai Metrowater, says Tamil Nadu has acquired very good expertise in laying pipelines for long distance transfer of water for drinking water supply requirements. He cites the Veeranam water supply project for Chennai and the Cauvery project for Vellore. Considering long-term benefits, the cost of such a project need not be held as a major constraint, he feels.

A. Veerappan, secretary of the Tamil Nadu PWD Senior Engineers’ Association, agrees that the method of drawing water through pipelines is an efficient way of getting water. But, Andhra Pradesh should give its consent for such proposal. He says that there are other options, which are locally available and the government should concentrate on implementing them.

Senior officials of the State government are of the view that the cost will definitely be an important factor. In respect of the KP canal, the two States have borne the cost. Besides, the issue of land acquisition might also arise for laying the pipelines.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 7:51:07 AM |

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