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TN water crisis: DMK stages protest against govt, says CM, ministers ‘not bothered’

Major water bodies have dried up due to rainfall deficit in the past two years in the state, which has also led to the depletion of groundwater levels.

SNS | New Delhi |

As Tamil Nadu reels under the worst water crisis, the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is staging a protest in Chepak against the state government over acute water scarcity.

DMK President MK Stalin has also joined the party workers in the protest.

“There is a water famine in Tamil Nadu. EPS, OPS and ministers aren’t bothered about water crisis. This water scarcity is not a sudden development,” Stalin said.

On Saturday too, the DMK had held protests at district headquarters across the state to press the state government for necessary action to mitigate the people’s suffering.

DMK MP TR Baalu has given a notice in the Lok Sabha over the water crisis in the state.

The ruling party officials, meanwhile, held ‘yagnas’ in temples seeking God’s blessings for the rains.

Major water bodies have dried up due to rainfall deficit in the past two years in the state. This has also led to the depletion of groundwater levels.

While Cholavaram (full capacity 1,081 mcft) and Redhills (full capacity 3,300 mcft) reservoirs that supply water to Chennai have run dry, there is only 1 mcft of water left in Chembarambakkam lake (against a full capacity of 3,645 mcft) and 21 mcft water left in Poondi reservoir (against a full capacity of 3,231 mcft), according to the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board.

Amidst the ongoing severe water crisis in parts of Tamil Nadu, clashes were reported between residents across the state.

The water crisis has also hit the functioning of several industries, especially in Chennai. The shortage of water has hit IT companies, five-star hotels and high-rise residential buildings.

While people queuing up with plastic pots in the city has become a common sight, IT companies are going in for various measures, including work from home to stave off the problem. Restaurants are reportedly cutting down on their operational hours and are serving food in disposable plates to save water.

Meanwhile, several dead fish were seen lying on the peripheries of the dried up Selva Chinthamani Lake in Coimbatore.

However, Chief Minister E Palaniswami said his government is taking necessary steps to supply drinking water.

“Water is being supplied through tankers and desalinated water is also being distributed,” Chief Minister E Palaniswami said. He further said water from the Mettur Dam was being released to replenish Veeranam Lake in Cuddalore district and supply drinking water to Chennai as all the city.

Palaniswami said drought and deficient monsoon had resulted in depletion of groundwater levels but claimed the issue was not as big as was being made out, especially in the media.

Meanwhile, the Chennai Water Supply and Sewage Board (CWSSB) stated that the crisis is not as alarming as it is being projected.

Stating that the regular water supply from Chennai Metro Water Board has come down from 830 million litres a day (MLD) to 525 MLD now, TN Hariharan of CWSSB told Indian Express that the crisis will be managed “until November”.