Chennai Buzz: Drought in city | Agni natchitram alert | HC directive on water bodies


chennai sewage discharge
Sewage flowing into the Kosasthalaiyar. Pic: Raghavan Lokesh

Thirst for water rises as storage levels are near empty

As the much-expected relief to the impending water crisis through Cyclone Fani failed, the city is back to battling with acute water crisis. The storage in the four reservoirs has already hit rock bottom and is expected to last only for the next 15 days. Metro water has now started tapping the agricultural wells on the city outskirts to meet the demand.

This apart, Metro water has also started other measures like erection of new borewells, additional filling points and extending the operation of tanker lorries. In addition to new water tanks, the existing tanks are also being repaired to arrest leaks.

While Metro Water officials maintain that they are supplying 550 MLD of water, experts say that after the loss of water during transmission, only 400-450 MLD is reaching residents. The city is being supplied with less than half its original requirement of 1,200 MLD, which translates into an average of 61 litres of water every day per Chennaite including for all usage. The WHO standards mandate that every person living in cities should get 135 litres per capita per day.

Source: The Hindu | The Times of India| The New Indian Express

The hottest Kathiri is here

Peak summer aka “Kathiri” has arrived. Chennai has been already reeling under heat wave like conditions for a few days now, and with the agni natchitram, it is only expected to worsen this time. Normally, the period between May 4 and May 28 is considered peak summer season in the region. The Meteorological Department has forecast heat wave conditions in 13 districts of the state including Chennai.

Chennai recorded its hottest day this year on Thursday recording 41.5 degree Celsius, which is 5.6 degrees above normal. Cyclone ‘Fani’  induced dry wind triggered a severe heat wave in Tamil Nadu. Meteorological department records show that Chennai recorded some of its hottest days ever when cyclones curved away, much as in the scenario now. On May 31, 2003, Chennai recorded 45 degree Celsius and on May 30, 1998, it clocked 44.1 degrees Celsius. On both occasions, cyclones had formed in the Bay of Bengal and curved away to Burma sucking all the moisture from land and triggering heat waves.

Source: The Hindu | The New Indian Express

Chennai Metro’s parking lot gets increasing patronage

Chennai Metro gets nearly ₹1.92 lakh a month as parking revenue. Vadalapani tops the list with an average of 1,821 vehicles being parked a day, followed by Alandur where 915 vehicles are parked on average. In the third spot is Koyambedu Metro station with an average of 723 vehicles parked on a daily basis.

The stretch from Washermanpet to AG-DMS has also started picking up as enquiries for  monthly parking passes for these two stations alone has been on the rise.

Source: The Hindu

Madras HC sets deadline for restoration of waterways

The Madras High Court has directed the state government to constitute a special wing for management of water bodies. The bench of justices had infact warned that Day Zero will not be too far, given the current situation.

The wing shall deal exclusively with the management of water bodies, waterways, canals, tanks, etc., throughout the State and also focus on removal of encroachments in association with Chennai River Restoration Trust. The wing has to conduct land surveys and prepare Form Nos. I and II prescribed under the TN Protection of Tanks Act, 2007 with respect to all water bodies, waterways, watercourses and drainage channels by using advanced instruments, like GPS, ETS, etc.

The bench also said that the government is entitled to take suitable disciplinary action against the members of the wing, including the chairman, in case of dereliction of duties and it should review their work.

Source: The New Indian Express

[Compiled by Sandhya Raju]

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  1. Most of us know that trees bring rain. But I feel people have forgot this concept for the past 10 years. Most us destroyed the trees around our house & built more buildings. Even most of the forest reserves in chennai have been changed into plots for sale or luxury apartments. Also how many of us have a proper rain water harvesting arrangements in our house? Or how many houses are surrounded by cement land rather than soil which we have in our past say 20 years back. Soils absorbs rain water & retains it in our well for the next complete year & trees absorbs the excess water not letting into flooding. I have experienced this during last Chennai floods. Where as cement floor around the house leads to water draining to road & drainage, also excess rain overflows inside our house. It’s our every sole responsibility to protect our resources & ecosystem, not only the government. Which we failed & now each of us in water crisis. I believe planting trees would save us from droughts. In my locality we have experienced the government garbage department refused to disposed the cut trees which might have lead the people losing interest about having trees in their house. Suggest if I am wrong.

  2. True. We as community are responsible for the present situation. In every street if the residents collectively decide to plant a few trees on wherever we have open space and water and care for then we will be leaving behind a green environment for our children and grand children which is very important than any wealth we leave behind. As rightly said we are responsible to save the eco system though government has to support and coordinate by enacting and implementing the appropriate laws.
    For our part we can minimise covering open spaces around us with cement and also involve our kids into planting trees and caring for them by which they are taught to love and care for nature from early age.

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