Have to make do with available water till monsoon, says CM

Edappadi claims water crisis is being exaggerated

Published - June 19, 2019 12:52 am IST - CHENNAI

Seeking the cooperation of the public to tide over the severe water scarcity in the State, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Tuesday said water was being supplied to people such that they will be able to manage with available water resources till the onset of the monsoon, expected by October or November.

Indicating that the water crisis was being ‘exaggerated’, he said, “In case of a water issue somewhere, it should not be blown up to give a false impression that the entire State is reeling from water scarcity.”

Speaking to reporters near the mausoleum being constructed for late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, Mr. Palaniswami said: “Since the monsoon would set only by October or November, there is a need to manage with available water. Accordingly, we are supplying ground water to the people.”

He also appealed to the public to cooperate with the government, saying, “We are in a situation of taking ground water and supplying it to the people as drinking water for three to four months. So, people should understand the situation.”

While steps were being taken to address the drinking water scarcity, Mr. Palaniswami underlined that the groundwater level had gone down following drought and deficit rainfall. “Lorries are being sent continuously to areas to supply water through TWAD, Corporations, Municipalities and village panchayats, wherever there is drinking water scarcity,” he said.

Groundwater level

Since the groundwater level had fallen, people were using the water supplied by the TWAD for drinking, washing and other needs, he said, adding, “That is the reason behind the scarcity. However, the government has made plans and is taking steps to cater to the drinking water needs.”

Since monsoon had failed, all reservoirs providing drinking water to Chennai had dried up, he pointed out. “Against our due share of 12 TMC of water from Krishna, they have given us only 2 TMC. Kandaleru dam can be opened only if it has 8 TMC of water. But it has only 4 TMC. So, water could not be sourced from there,” he said.

The Mettur dam was opened to fill Veeranam, from where sufficient water was being supplied to the people, he said.

“So, as far as the government is concerned, drinking water is being supplied to areas where water is scarce through instructions to District Collectors and with sanctioning of necessary funds,” he said.

Mr. Palaniswami reviewed the progress made in the construction of a mausoleum for late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and said instructions had been issued to Public Works Department to speed up construction. Work at a site commenced in May last year at a total cost of ₹50.80 crore and 60% of the construction was completed, he said. “It would be opened for public viewing within five months,” he added.

When asked about DMK MPs taking oath in Tamil, he said: “That is their style. We are speaking the truth. But DMK MPs know Hindi and you are aware as to who knows Hindi. Dayanidhi Maran knows Hindi. But they say Long Live Tamil. We are also saying so. AIADMK functionaries respect Tamil. So, Tamil is in our hearts. Like the sentiments you reporters have, we too have sentiments.”

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