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First train carrying water for Chennai leaves Jolarpet

14 July 2019

Indian Railways has stepped in to help the residents of Chennai with the city reeling under the pressure of a severe water crisis.

Chennai has seen only a fraction of the rain it usually receives during June and July. Around 100 inlet pipes installed near the railway tracks would be used to discharge 2.5 million litres of water in all the wagons to be sent to a treatment plant after passing through a conduit. This comes after the State Government had requested the Southern Railway to transport 10 MLD (Million Litres per day) water from Jolarpettai to Villivakkam covering a distance of almost 220kms.

While the Cholavaram (full capacity 1,081 mcft) and Redhills (full capacity 3,300 mcft) reservoirs and Chembarambakkam lake (full capacity 3,645 mcft) that supply water to Chennai have run dry, 16 mcft water is left in the Poondi reservoir (against a full capacity of 3,231 mcft), according to the Chennai Metro Water. The per lorry of metro water (9000 litres) is supplied at Rs 700 but people don't get this water on time, a housewife said.

Also, a DPR will be prepared to prevent mix up of sewage in water bodies in Coimbatore, Tirupur, Erode, Salem and Tiruchirappalli and explore the feasibility of using recycled water for multiple purposes including industrial use and replenishing groundwater, he said. "The one short-term measure that can work for Chennai is to really control the demand for water through better awareness and action from our citizens". If you can spare even a few dollars each month, it would make a huge difference to us.

"The citizens are quick to point fingers at the government, but they are not lifting a finger to actually conserve water at home", he said.

Authorities blame four parched drinking water reservoirs outside Chennai and inadequate monsoon a year ago for the water scarcity. It led to the major water bodies that cater to the city needs going bone dry.

But to deal more quickly with water shortages, Mohan's team, based at the Greater Chennai Corporation - the civic body that governs the city - has planned a campaign to educate the public on the need to save water and to show some simple ways to do it.

First train carrying water for Chennai leaves Jolarpet