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Water from Krishnagiri dam raises a scare

S. Prasad

Polluted at source, poor quality compounding problems



Not potable: A view of the Krishnagiri dam. Photo: N.Bashkaran.

KRISHNAGIRI: Though the Krishnagiri municipality does not face water shortage the poor quality of water supplied from the Krishnagiri dam has raised serious concern among the public to treat the water before effecting its supply.

The Krishnagiri dam, built across Thenpennai River, is the main source of drinking water supply to the entire Krishnagiri town, Sandekuppam and numerous wayside villages. In addition water from the dam is also used in Kaveripattinam and 16 other villages for agricultural purposes.

According to PWD sources, "the Thenpennaiar River has its source at Nandhi hills in Karnataka. With sewage water from Bangalore already mixing at Alsoor in Karnataka the river gets polluted before entering Varathur and Bagalur in Tamil Nadu. From Bagalur the water traverses Kelavarapalli in Hosur where another dam exists and reaches the Krishnagiri dam."

Due to the strong pollution of water a treatment plant was set up by TWAD (Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage Board) at the Kelavarapalli dam to help supply water to Hosur and SIPCOT. But due to the poor quality of water the supply was suspended.

Rampant complaints

Now water from Kelavarapalli is supplied to about 13 wards in Hosur and SIPCOT for industrial purposes. Though water from Kelavarapalli reaches the dam after traversing a long distance there are rampant complaints about the poor quality. "The mixing of sewage water from Bangalore into the Thenpennaiar River is the main reason for the stink. In addition the water colour is also dark green in colour due to the high presence of algae," says Shanthi, a resident near the dam.

According to PWD sources, "though water from the Krishnagiri dam has to be treated before supply for consumption water samples were regularly taken at 10 different locations and sent to the Central Quality Control Laboratory at Taramani in Chennai which had found the samples to be within permissible limits." Barring an infiltration well at Sandekuppam the remaining areas within municipal limits receive only raw water from the dam which cannot be stored for more than two days because of the smell.

Residents point out that water from the dam was supplied to SIPCOT and Hosur town after purification through modern equipments.

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