Tamil Nadu

TN Government to bring water by train from Jolarpet to Chennai

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Minister S. P. Velumani addressing a press conference on Friday.

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Minister S. P. Velumani addressing a press conference on Friday.   | Photo Credit: R_Ragu

A Municipal and Water Supplies Department official said the arrangement would continue for six months. However, a press release quoted the CM as having said the measure would last six weeks.

In a bid to address the severe shortage of water in the State capital, the Tamil Nadu government on Friday earmarked ₹65 crore for bringing 10 million litres per day (mld) of drinking water from Jolarpet to Chennai by train as an interim measure.

The government, while thanking Kerala for its one-time offer of sending 2 million litres of water by train, said it is planning to request the State to supply 2 mld instead.

It also urged Kerala to help increase the height of the Mullaperiyar dam as per the Supreme Court ruling, so that its storage is enhanced.

Addressing journalists here, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said: “I thank the Kerala government for the offer. However, 2 million litres is not sufficient. If 2 mld of water is provided, it will be useful to the people.”

When asked about the source of water in Jolarpet, he said the government had already commenced work. A Municipal and Water Supplies Department official said the arrangement would continue for six months. However, a press release quoted the CM as having said the measure would last six weeks.

Mr. Palaniswami said the Kerala government was “obstructing” Tamil Nadu’s work to strengthen Mullaperiyar dam for eventually increasing its height as per the Supreme Court judgment. “[Kerala] Chief Minister should extend cooperation in view of the Supreme Court verdict. We need every single drop of water. He should extend cooperation to us to receive water from the monsoon,” he said and pointed out that the livelihood of people in five districts — Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga — was dependent on water from Mullaperiyar.

₹200 crore more

During a review meeting chaired by him, additional funds to the tune of ₹200 crore were sanctioned towards drinking water projects.

Elaborating on the magnitude of the scarcity, the Chief Minister said there was “not a single drop of water" in the four reservoirs of Cholavaram, Chembarambakkam, Poondi and Red Hills that had been a source of drinking water for Chennai.

He said about 9,800 lorry tanker trips were being made daily to supply drinking water in Chennai. While detailing the issues faced in supplying water, Mr. Palaniswami said he was flooded with requests from apartment owners for water when the entire city was reeling from the crisis.

“The government should take care of the poor people too,” he said.

Against its share of 12 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft) of water from the Krishna, only 2 tmc ft had been supplied to Tamil Nadu by Andhra Pradesh, he said and added that owing to a shortage in Kandaleru, water could not be released from there. Taking a dig at DMK president M.K. Stalin and Congress leaders, he asked the latter to impress upon the Congress government in Karnataka not to construct the Mekedatu dam across the Cauvery. Pointing out that 9.19 tmc ft. of water was already due to Tamil Nadu, which was being refused, Mr. Palaniswami said: “If a dam is constructed at Mekedatu, Tamil Nadu will not get even a single drop of water.”

The Chief Minister also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for having accepted his suggestion to expand the concept of rainwater harvesting, which was propagated by former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, to all parts of the country as well as Cleaning Cauvery project. Municipal Administration and Water Supply Minister S.P. Velumani was also present.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 10:33:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tn-government-to-bring-water-by-train-from-jolarpet-to-chennai/article28106254.ece

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