The Tamil Nadu government said that it has not turned down neighbouring Kerala’s offer of supplying 20 lakh litres of drinking water as the state is reeling under a severe water crisis. Saying that there was “no need for the help at present”, the Tamil Nadu government said Chief Minister K Palaniswami will discuss the offer at a review meeting which will be held Friday and announce “an appropriate decision”.
“Since the major water bodies of Chennai has been facing acute water shortage, the Kerala government decided to extend an helping hand,” Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan wrote on Facebook on Thursday. He added: “Kerala was prepared to transport 20 lakh litres of drinking water from Thiruvananthapuram to Chennai through train.”
Rural and Municipal Administration Minister S P Velumani told PTI that Kerala Chief Minister’s secretary conveyed the offer to his counterpart who thanked the neighbouring state for its gesture.”The information that Tamil Nadu chief minister has refused the water offered by Kerala CM is not true,” he said in a release in Chennai Thursday night. This comes a few days after he had asserted that the government system is capable to maintain an adequate supply of water for Chennai till November.
The minister added that Kerala government had made a one-time offer of providing 2 million litres of water but Chennai’s daily requirement itself was 525 million litres a day. “Tamil Nadu government officials have opined that it will be helpful if Kerala could send 2 MLD (million litres a day) daily,” the release said.
Meanwhile, DMK Chief Stalin thanked Vijayan for his “timely offer.” In a tweet, he said: “I wholeheartedly thank Chief Minister of Kerala @vijayanpinarayi for his timely offer to provide water to Tamil Nadu. Urge government of Tamil Nadu to work with Govt of Kerala to help citizens of our state tide over this unprecedented water crisis.”
Several parts of Tamil Nadu, particularly Chennai and its suburbs, have been reeling under water scarcity following depletion of groundwater level and poor storage in many lakes that cater to the needs of the city. The state capital has had a dry spell of nearly 190 days with no rains which has contributed to the depleting ground water level. While water was being supplied through lorries and borewells, the Tamil Nadu government said it was largely dependent on groundwater to meet requirements until the onset of monsoon.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami has time and again maintained that while drought and deficient monsoon had resulted in depletion of groundwater levels, but the issue was not as big as was being made out, especially in the media. (With PTI inputs)