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Metrowater has alternative plans to meet city needs

By K. Lakshmi


CHENNAI, JAN. 31. Even as an official panel concluded that the Madurantakam tank in Kancheepuram district did not have surplus water to spare for the city, Metrowater has alternative plans to meet the city needs.

Referring to the panel's finding, a senior officer of the Metrowater said the Madurantakam tank was only a buffer source and 22 million cubic feet (mcft) of surplus water would yield only about 600 million litres, which could, at best, meet the city needs for four days in the present level of depleted supply. "We had originally proposed to use the tank briefly as an alternative to open wells and deep borewells." As the summer approaches, the yield of the currently-used wells may go down and sources, such as Madurantakam, were sought to be used to bridge the possible gap, the officer explained.

"So, our revised plan is to draw more water from our own and hired wells," he said.

Metrowater proposed to draw about two million litres a day (MLD) from Madurantakam. However, the panel assessed that the present storage was 220 million cubic feet (mcft) against the total capacity of 609 mcft. As the tank had to cater for irrigation needs of villages located in and around Madurantakam, there was no surplus water to supply to the city, the panel concluded.

At present, Metrowater is drawing 105 MLD from its own wells, as well as private agricultural wells on the fringes of the city. "We are planning to draw an additional two MLD of water from these sources located at Tamaraipakkam, Minjur and Panjetti," said the officer.

The agency has been drawing water from about 300 wells. Now, it has identified 25 more wells at Ponneri and places adjacent to Palur. Around 5 MLD of water is expected to be drawn from each area. Also to be tapped are wells in Kaveripakkam of Vellore district and Kelambakkam and Kattupakkam in Kancheepuram district.

At present, the Board is supplying about 350 million litres of water on every two days. Only 10 per cent of this is supplied through pipelines.

The rainfall on Tuesday last did not help to increase the storage in the city reservoirs. At present, the combined storage of the reservoirs is 230 mcft against the total capacity of 7,412 mcft.

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