Deficit in Rainfall, Dip in Water Table behind Water Shortage, Says Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
In such a situation, drinking water was being used increasingly for daily needs, leading to a shortage and the government was supplying 7,508 MLD drinking water, Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami said.
People stand in queues to fill vessels filled with drinking water from a water tanker in Chennai. (Image: AP)
Chennai: Deficit rainfall and a dip in the water table has led to water scarcity in Tamil Nadu, despite which the government was supplying 7,508 million litres per day across the state, Chief Minister K Palaniswami told the Assembly on Monday.
Municipal Administration Minister SP Velumani said the actual rainfall till date this year was only 48 mm against the average normal rainfall of 149 mm.
Last year, the actual rainfall was 811 mm against the total normal average rainfall of 960 mm, which makes the deficit 68 per cent, he added.
Palaniswami, intervening Congress Legislature Party leader KR Ramasamy, who demanded steps to address the situation, said water bodies like lakes and ponds have dried
up due to deficit rainfall and the water table has tumbled, leading to a shortage of water for daily use.
In view of such a situation, drinking water was being used increasingly for daily needs, leading to a shortage and the government was supplying 7,508 MLD drinking water while only 4,945 MLD was distributed during the DMK regime, he said.
The Chief Minister said if the ruling Congress-JD(U) in neighbouring Karnataka released water, it would help ease the situation.
Palaniswami also asked Ramasamy if his party (unit in Tamil Nadu) had protested over Congress president Rahul Gandhi's promise at an election meeting in Karnataka to build a dam across the river Cauvery at Mekedatu and disband the Cauvery Water Management Authority.
Despite the CWMA directing Karnataka to release water, it was yet to comply, he said and wanted to know the MLA's stand over it since his party held the reins of power in Karnataka.
To this, Ramasamy said it was the government's duty to secure release of Cauvery water and assured that his party MLAs would be with the government on the issue.
Velumani said that despite the deficit rainfall, the government was supplying 525 MLD in Chennai and across Tamil Nadu 7508 MLD. In 24 districts, the watertable has seen a dip, leading to depletion of water levels in private borewells.
In view of this, people used drinking water supplied by local bodies for their other daily needs, leading to drinking water problems, he said.
On water supply in Chennai, which has seen a 48 per cent deficit rainfall, he said work was on to bring 10 million litres of drinking water through train from Jolarpet in Vellore district and it would be over two weeks.
From Veeranam lake in Cuddalore district, 90 million litres of water was being supplied to Chennai, he said.
Studies were being done to bring 60 million litres of drinking water from quarries (in Kanchipuram district) to Chennai after treating it at a cost of Rs 125 crore, he added.
Also, 110 million litres of water was being sourced from 324 farm wells in Tiruvallur district, he said.
"Though Chennai's drinking water sources like the Poondi, Cholavaram, Puzhal and Chembarambakkam lakes have dried up,525 million litres of water is being distributed every day. The same quantum will be supplied till November 2019," he said.
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