Special water train to reach Chennai on Friday

Bad water management and lack of rainfall mean all four reservoirs that supply Chennai have run virtually dry this summer

Bad water management and lack of rainfall mean all four reservoirs that supply Chennai have run virtually dry this summer

All the four reservoirs (Poondi, Cholavaram, Redhills and Chembarambakkam) which meets the drinking water needs of the city have dried up. Chennai has been grappling with an acute water crisis over the past few months. Each wagon in this special train contains close to 50,000 litres, the water is being sourced from a nearby river to quench Chennai's thirst. Workers were busy getting the water mains ready near the filling point while TANGEDCO workers were installing a transformer near the pump house in Mettusakkarakuppam where the underground storage tank with a capacity of 5.05 lakh litres is located.

The water-special train, 50 wagons each carrying about 55,000 litre water, took off from Jolarpet which is about 220 km away from Chennai after special pujas around 7.30 am. And it seems the politicians were waiting for an auspicious time to inaugurate the train.

"Tamil Nadu has received no rain in six months". This has led to water scarcity. However, the water level at Mettur Dam, the source of the water for the special trains, is now less than half of the average level.

Meanwhile, residents continue to struggle.

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Mr. Palaniswami said policy will also be prepared for setting up a grid comprising a pipe line network for reusing reclaimed water (after treatment of sewage) for several purposes and this will also help prevent pollution of water bodies.

"I am a pensioner and it's so hard for me as half of my pension money is spent in buying water", he says. In April, we paid somewhere between Rs 1,900 to Rs 2,100.

The train was supposed to reach Chennai on Thursday, but leakages in valves connecting the tank to the railway station forced authorites to push back plans by a day, officials at the railway station said.

The locomotive which arrived at 11.15 am stood at a shed in Kurukupettai, waiting for hours, for Tamil Nadu's top ministers to make an appearance at the Villivakkam junction before it could be unloaded and leave for its second trip of the day.

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