Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami Friday announced several emergency measures to tackle the widespread acute water crisis across the state. The government will bring in 10 millions of litre (MLD) water per day via rail network from Jolarpet in Vellore district to tackle the water scarcity.
Speaking at a press conference in Chennai, Palaniswami said the government is taking steps to deal with the situation by desilting water bodies and quarries and has sanctioned Rs 500 crore for the desalination process.
He asserted that 525 millions of litre (MLD) of water is being supplied by the Chennai Metro Water per day to the city and that Rs 158.42 crore has been sanctioned to the civic body to "take care of water scarcity in a war footing".
Chennai has been severely hit by water crisis after all the four water reservoirs - Poondi, Chembarambakkam, Sholavaram and Red Hills - dried up.
Palaniswami said a meeting was convened on January 31 to discuss the situation but was later cancelled due to the enforcement of Model Code of Conduct ahead of Lok Sabha Election 2019. He added that the government resumed fund allocation after the MCC was lifted, hence being able to provide drinking water to the state.
Palaniswami thanked Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for providing 2 MLD water to the state but added that they are still not getting water from Krishna river. "Tamil Nadu government is working to strengthen Mullaperiyar Dam, in order to store more water. However, Kerala is not cooperating with us," he said.
Rubbishing reports of state ministers getting tanker loads of water is, Palaniswami, "Ministers getting lorry loads of water is false news. I’m only using a maximum of 2 buckets and drink 4 litre of water per day."
He also rubbished the reports suggesting the schools in the state have been temporarily shut down due to the water crisis.
Taking a dig at DMK chief MK Stalin, Palaniswami questioned his silence on Megadathu dam over Cauvery river - oppositions' key poll promise.