Chennai: Enough in reservoirs to last till next monsoon: Metrowater officials

CHENNAI: The level in the Veeranam lake in Cuddalore is up to the brim following the heavy inflow but Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) officials say it does not mean any increase in the supply to the city. They, however, say the four reservoirs have enough to last till the next monsoon.

On Tuesday, the level in the Veeranam lake was at 43.7 feet against its capacity of 47.5 feet. The inflow was 1,000 cusecs while the outflow maintained at 1,474 cusecs. On Wednesday, the inflow was 500 cusecs and the outflow 493 cusecs.

CMWSSB officials say only 180 Million litres per Day (MLD) is drawn from the lake for the city’s needs. “Veeranam is primarily a irrigation lake from which we are drawing water for the city under a scheme. Of the out flow of 493 cusecs from Veeranam on Wednesday, 427 cusecs will go for agricultural use and 66 cusecs for Chennai,” said an official.

Water from Veeranam reaches a pumping house in Settiya Thoppu near Cuddalore and goes to a treatment plant in Vadakuthu near Neyvelli. From there it reaches an overhead tank in Kadambuliyur and then, using gravity, 180 MLD is sent to the Porur headworks. “This then provides water to entire South Chennai,” said the official.

Officials say the level in the four reservoirs supplying water to the city increased by 45% on Wednesday compared to Tuesday. On Tuesday, the combined storage was 4880 mcft against the capacity of 11,057 mcft. On Wednesday, it was 5039 mcft an increase of 159 mcft.

“The increase is mainly due to the rains. The average rainfall in Red Hills, Cholavaram, and Poondi is 325 mm for November. We have been receiving 2.3 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) of Krishna water. This is expected to continue untill our reservoirs become full and we ask them to stop. This will ensure enough supply till the next monsoon,” said the official.


Cuddalore: Veeranam lake brimming at 43.5 ft

CUDDALORE: With heavy rains lashing the northern districts, the water level in the Veeranam lake in Cuddalore district, a prime water source for Chennai, is brimming over. Anxious to protect the embankment and prevent vast acres of crops in the tail-end of the delta region going under sheets of water, officials have decided to maintain the water level in the lake at 43.5 feet as against its full capacity of 47.5 feet.

The water level in the lake as on Tuesday stood at 43.7 feet. The inflow was 1,000 cusecs while the outflow was maintained at 1,474 cusecs. Water supply to Chennai from the lake for drinking water needs resumed a month ago and on Tuesday 73 cusecs of water was released to Chennai.

With the discharge of water from the lake, the crops on about 10,000 acres in Kattumannarkoil and Chidambaram have been submerged. The officials were of the view that the heavy rains had not damaged the crops yet but admitted that if the spell continued for another two days, the situation could turn bad.

Paddy was raised in 90% of the tail-end delta regions. “The next 48 hours is very crucial for the farmers in these regions. If rain continues, the loss of crops will be enormous and if not, there are possibilities of stagnant water draining out quickly. Majority of the crops submerged were raised a month ago and damage would be less in these areas,” said Veeranam Pasana Vivasayeegal Sangam president KV Elankeeran.

But rains wrecked havoc to the betel leaves cultivated in about 3,000 to 5,000 acres of plantations near the lake including in places like Thiruchinnapuram, Nanthimangalam, Lalpettai and Elleri. “Betel leaves are water-intensive crops and are generally raised in regions near the lake. The crops raised in about 3,000 to 5,000 acres of land have submerged under water for the past one week and are completely damaged,” Elankeeran said.

Cuddalore collector P Seetharaman while briefing reporters said the district administration submitted a proposal for Rs 23 crore to the state government for strengthening the banks of Veeranam Lake.

Detailing the preparedness of the district administration in tackling the north-east monsoon, the collector said the project will be taken up shortly. The project includes de-silting 28 supply channels of the lake at a cost of Rs 12.56 crore renovating the existing shutters at a cost of Rs 1.26 crore and erecting new shutters at Rs 46 lakh.

He revealed that a new bridge at a cost of Rs four crore connecting Nanthimangalam and Poolanmedu in Kattumannarkoil taluk will be constructed, another new bridge at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore connecting Nanamedu and Uppalavadu and a new regulator at a cost of Rs six crore will be erected at VNS anicut.

“Crops cultivated in about 20,500 acres of land have been submerged under water, but the incessant rain has not damaged the crops,” he claimed.

Four persons and four cattle have been killed in rain-related accidents. Thirty-two houses were completely damaged and 135 houses partially damaged.



Veeranam tank goes dry

Special Correspondent

Deficit rainfall has affected swarnavari, kuruvai crops in Cuddalore district

Veeranam tank goes dry — Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

Veeranam tank goes dry — Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

BLEAK SIGHT: The Veeranam tank in Cuddalore district, which is totally dry.

CUDDALORE: Deficit rainfall and poor or nil storage in tanks have affected swarnavari and kuruvai crops in Cuddalore district.

Only those who have installed lift irrigation facility have managed to raise crops with lower than normal yields, sources said. The Veeranam tank, with an ayacut area of 48,000 acres, has gone dry. The tank went dry earlier in 2002.

The delay in release of water from the Mettur dam and truant monsoon have created a drought-like situation.

According to sources, it takes about 10 days for water from the Mettur dam to reach the Kallanai. Ten per cent of the water realised at the Kallanai would be let into the Keelanai, from where the Vadavar would carry water to the Veeranam tank.

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had announced that Mettur water would be released on August 7. Therefore, rejuvenation of the Veeranam tank would be possible only by August-end, the sources said.

Tapping of 75 million litres a day of water from the tank at the Boothangudi point for Chennai stopped on July 1. Official sources told The Hindu that with absolutely no inflow, the tank, with a maximum storage of 47.5 feet, had gone dry.

At present, the water level in the Wallajah tank stood at 4.5 feet against the full height of 5.5 feet and the level at Perumal eri stood at 0.5 ft against 6.5 ft. The sources said that for want of water supply, the paddy farmers could not meet the target set. Swarnavari crop could be raised only on 6,410 ha against a target of 10,000 ha and kuruvai pady on 3,600 ha against a target of 8,000 ha.

According to K. Vijayakumar, a progressive farmer, only those with lift irrigation facility could raise 10 per cent of the normal crop size. The delayed water release from the Stanley Reservoir would have cascading effect even beyond the kuruvai and samba seasons.

After the samba season, the farmers usually go for black gram cultivation. But, the delayed water release would extend the samba season, thus making it impossible to raise black gram.

I. Elangeeran of the Naraikkal-Vettuvaikkal Paasana Vivasayigal Sangham said that the lean period was the ideal time for desilting or deepening the Veeranam tank. However, even Rs. 2 crore allotted for desilting various canals such as the South Rajan vaikkal and the North Rajan vaikkal had not been utilised.

By The Hindu Paper