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Bid to maintain regular water supply to Chennai — New Veeranam to be backed by Rs 300-cr project

Our Bureau

Chennai , Nov. 22

THE State Government hopes to supply of 840 million litres water per day to the Chennai Metropolitan Area through projects such as the recently implemented New Veeranam Scheme and the proposed seawater desalination projects, which will augment the reservoir and well water supply.

In a statement in the Assembly today, the Public Works Minister, Mr O. Panneerselvam, said that the New Veeranam Scheme is being strengthened through a Rs 300-crore project that will enable an assured minimum supply of 180 million litres water a day, regardless of water availability in the Veeranam Lake, while ensuring that the irrigation requirement of the farmers is protected.

It envisages tapping 150 million litres water from the Coleroon river through six large storage facilities. This water will be transported by pipelines to the Veeranam Lake and then to Chennai. This will also help to avoid tapping the Panruti-Neyveli aquifer, from which water was being tapped for the city's need.

The Panruti-Neyveli aquifer had offered the Government a `ray of hope' in June 2004 in maintaining water supply to Chennai and stopping people from migrating from the city. Starting with 75 million litres of water a day, this drawal was stepped up to 90 million litres enabling a supply of 205 million litres a day in June against 175 million litres in January.

The Veeranam scheme has helped restore piped supply of water to Chennai residents after it was stopped in December 2003, when the water stored in the three reservoirs that supply water to the city dropped to a 54-year low. The scheme started in February 2003 had been completed in record time to yield 180 million litres a day from October 2004.

The Assembly was adjourned `sine die' after the appropriations Bill was passed. On November 17, the Finance, Mr C. Ponnaiyan, presented the second supplementary estimate of Rs 60.35 crore.

More Stories on : Water | Tamil Nadu

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