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Freeze on new water connections likely

K.V. Prasad

COIMBATORE: A freeze on giving new water connections is among the options the Coimbatore Corporation is exploring, in order to tackle the shortage of drinking water that may arise because of poor monsoon.

The civic body has already cut supply by one or two hours. But, the once-in-four-days supply is being seen as inevitable.

If the freeze on new connections and the cut in supply come into effect, it will only indicate that the scarcity situation of 2003 has returned. That year, the dam hit the dead storage level, forcing the civic body to stop releasing new connections.

Mayor R. Venkatachalam, however, said on Thursday that both these options would be placed before the leaders of the parties in the Council for their approval.

The Mayor also indicated that the all-party meeting might have to be held sooner than intended to have contingency measures in place.

“The situation at the Siruvani Dam seems to necessitate this,” he said, pointing out that there was no rain at the dam or the catchments for the last four days. But, the water level was coming down, he added.

“There is a forecast that monsoon will revive in three days. So, we will have the meeting after July 22,” he said.

“I am confident that councillors will not object to reducing supply to once in four days. Already some areas in the city are getting water only once in eight or ten days,” he said. The Corporation would make a fervent appeal to parties to understand the gravity of the situation and work with the people to manage the situation by advocating austerity in the use of drinking water.

A reduction in supply seemed an inevitable option before the Corporation because it had to manage with limited resources, Mr. Venkatachalam pointed out. “The available amount of water in Siruvani Dam will last only for 35 days if we continue with the alternate day supply,” he warned.

The water level on Thursday was 30 ft, as against the full reservoir level of 67 ft. And, local bodies could draw only up to 20 ft of what was available.

“We get only 62 million litres a day (mld) from the Pilloor Dam. And, we cannot ask for more to offset any shortage in the Siruvani scheme areas,” he said.

The supply from Siruvani was around 60 mld now, as against the normal 87 mld.

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