Addressing the media on the ongoing water crisis in the Tamil Nadu capital - Chennai, the state Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS), on Friday, has said that while Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan was ready to send 2 Million litres per day (MLD) water through train for a day, he said that amount of water would be needed everyday, refusing Kerala's aid to a rain-deficit city.
Detailing the currrent low ground water reserves due to deficit rain, he said that the goverenment was supplying 525 MLD water throught 'Chennai Metro' lorries.
"The state underwent a huge rain deficit and hence the ground water levels have gone very low. That's why we are supplying 525 MLD water of water to Chennai through metro lorries. There is not even drop of water in 4 reservoirs which gives water to Chennai," he said.
The city is provided from four reservoirs - Poondi, Chembarambakkam, Puzhal and Cholavaram whose capacities have dipped below 1% of the demand hence fail to suppy water to Chennai. The city recieves its water from its three main desalination plants and other tankers and pipelines.
Talking about the other steps taken by the government to provide water, he added that water was being transported by trains from Vellore, pipes from the Veeranam lake adding there was not adequate water supplied from the Krishna river - the quota alloted to Tamil Nadu under the Telugu Ganga Project of the Andhra Pradesh government.
"Government has taken all efforts to supply water to the city. We are bringing 10 MLD of water to Chennai through train from Vellore in expense of 65 crores. We are also bringing water from the Veeranam lake everyday. We did not get enough water from Krishna river. We've got only 2 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) water out of 12 TMC which we should get," he added.
He also added that the providing water to the economically backward class is his first priority, saying that at this time of crisis Opposition should not play politics.
"The first priority is to supply water to the economically backward people,govt is focusing on it. People who have more money will somehow will pay money and get water. They can get water however DMK should not politics this issue, its a general public issue, everyone should understand and use the water wisely," he said.
Earlier on Thursday, he had slammed the media for exagerating the water crisis saying only some parts of the state faced water shortage.
"I request to stand with us. Please don't blow up an issue which occuring just in few places and show as if the water crisis is all across Tamilnadu.You all know how much rain Tamilnadu got. Nature has failed us," he said.
Primarily, the supply of the four reservoirs which are the main soources of water to the city has depleted due to deficit rainfall, lack of timely desilting which has eaten into the reserve supply, according to media reports.
The other reason is the lack of adequate supply from the Krishna river. According to media reports in January 2019, the water levels in the Kandaleru reservoir in Andhra Pradesh had touched rock bottom, cutting into Tamil Nadu's alloted supply. While the EPS government has blamed Andhra Pradesh of excessive use, it was forced to compensate the deficit from Cauvery - which is an existing disputed water sharing agreement between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu with the state often complaining the Karnataka does not share the judicially alloted amount of water with it.
Depleting ground water reserves, defecit North Easternly monsoon (October-November), along waith major mismanagement of rain water harvesting and the emergence of IT corridors in lake districts have only added to Chennai's woes, according to experts.