Updated: June 22, 2019 6:55:26 pm
Tamil Nadu’s main opposition party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), is staging protests across the state Saturday against the acute water crisis. The party’s cadre held protests in Dindigul, Salem, Erode, Tiruppur, Thoothukudi and Ramanathapuramnto urge the government to take action to address the issue. Tamil Nadu is plagued with a severe water crisis.
The DMK claimed the issue reached the point of a crisis due to the AIADMK government’s “negligence” and “administrative failure”, reported news agency PTI. Chennai has been affected the worst as the four reservoirs around the city, which supply drinking water, have dried up.
Chennai water crisis: What is the AIADMK govt doing?
Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami Friday held an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation. Addressing the press, Palaniswami said the government had allocated Rs 65 crore to transfer by rail water from Jolarpettai near Vellore to Chennai. For the next six months, the government will use rail wagons to bring in 10 MLD (millions of litre per day) of water from Jolarpettai, he said.
Apart from this, Palaniswami said senior officers were monitoring the situation and coordinating water supply. “Wherever there is a shortage, we have a coordinated system to ensure supply now,” the Chief Minister said.
He added that in rural areas, water was being supplied from Andhra Pradesh’s Krisha river. While about 11 TMC water was supposed to have come, TN was receiving only 2 TMC water.
Kerala offers to send Tamil Nadu water
The Kerala government has offered to send 2MLD water in rail wagons to Chennai from Thiruvananthapuram. While thanking the Pinarayi Vijayan government for the gesture, Palaniswami Friday said that a one-time supply of water will not be enough. “We are already supplying 525 MLD a day in Chennai in this crisis scenario. We will request the Kerala government to see the possibility of sending 2 MLD water every day, not one time,” he said.
He also requested the Kerala government to obey the Supreme Court judgment on the Mullaperiyar dam to ensure it can be filled to its storage capacity of 152 feet in order for Tamil Nadu to benefit. “Five districts in Tamil Nadu will benefit from this water,” he said.
What is the reason for Chennai’s water crisis?
Chennai is among the regions in Tamil Nadu which is affected by drought. With a deficient monsoon in 2018, the state’s reservoirs are dried up. Four water sources around Chennai — Poondi, Chembarambakkam, Sholavaram and Red Hills — are also dry.
Palaniswami Friday said the drought and deficient monsoon had resulted in depletion of groundwater levels. He added that the government was unable to take quicker action due to the recent elections.
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