First 50-Wagon Train Carrying Water For Chennai Arrives In Parched City

Cheryl Sanders
July 14, 2019

The first consignment will be taken to a water treatment centre before being distributed in trucks to different parts of the metropolis on Saturday.

Chennai has been facing a severe water crisis and there has been a 40 per cent cut in piped water supply after all four reservoirs outside the city dried up. Each wagon in this special train contains close to 50,000 litres, the water is being sourced from a nearby river to quench Chennai's thirst.

The government, however, has assured the residents that it would ensure a minimum supply of 525 million litres every day against the required 830 million litres a day till November when the monsoon would set in.


A technician checks a valve before water is pumped into a tanker train, which is transported to drought-hit city of Chennai, at Jolarpettai railway station in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

It is said that wayback in 2001 water was moved from Erode in trains to meet the demands of the city. For the water-starved city of Chennai, the promised 10 MLD of water, was a necessary intervention to battle the ongoing crisis. The per lorry of metro water (9000 litres) is supplied at Rs 700 but people don't get this water on time, a housewife said. "The one short-term measure that can work for Chennai is to really control the demand for water through better awareness and action from our citizens".

"The citizens are quick to point fingers at the government, but they are not lifting a finger to actually conserve water at home", he said.


Rampant unplanned development, deficient monsoon a year ago coupled with inadequate urban planning has brought Chennai to its knees.

Ground water levels in Chennai and in regions around the city have been falling due to lack of rainfall.

A new resilience strategy to help the city cope with a range of shocks and stresses - including climate change and urban expansion - includes projects to help Chennai protect and rehabilitate its 3,600 lakes, ponds and canals.


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