Water trains to ply to parched Chennai for 6 months

Parched Chennai will get some relief, with the Tamil Nadu government all set to transport 10 million litres per day (MLD) by train from various districts to the capital city, every day for the next six months. The government has also sought a special package of Rs 1000 crore from the Centre to address the water scarcity in the state. Chennai has been reeling under a severe shortage of water, as the main reservoirs that supply to the city have all but gone dry.

A meeting chaired by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Friday decided to transport water by trains from Jolarpet in Vellore to Chennai at a cost of Rs 65 crore.

“The state government has explored options to bring water in trains to Chennai from other districts. We have allocated Rs 65 crore for bringing 10 MLD of water daily in trains from Jolarpet to Chennai. Water from various districts will be aggregated at Jolarpet. From there, it will be transported to Chennai,” the CM said. The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board has been allocated Rs 158.42 crore for water distribution in Chennai. Other state agencies, including the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board, have been provided Rs 108.32 crore to ensure water supply in other parts of the state, the CM said. Water from Veeranam lake in Cuddalore district is also being brought to Chennai, the CM added.

TN Deputy Chief Minister and finance minister O Panneerselvam who attended a meeting of finance ministers chaired by union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi on Friday, sought a special package of Rs 1,000 crore from the Centre to augment irrigation structures in drought-hit areas.

Other districts in the state facing severe water scarcity include Ramanathapuram, Pudukkottai, Thiruvallur, Nagapattinam, Vellore, Thiruvannamalai, and Dindigul. The government, which had allocated Rs 710 crore earlier, released another Rs 200 crore to address the scarcity.

On Thursday, the Kerala offered to send 2 million litres of drinking water by train. However, if Kerala offered to send this daily, it would be useful for the people instead of a one-time supply, Palaniswami said.

First Published:
Jun 21, 2019 21:45 IST

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