With drinking water scarcity in Chennai, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Saturday requested his Andhra Pradesh counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu to release Krishna river water.
In a letter to Naidu, Panneerselvam said, "I write seeking your urgent personal intervention for the release of Krishna water to meet the drinking water supply to Chennai City which is facing an acute shortage in the reservoirs."
Panneerselvam said Chennai and Tamil Nadu are primarily dependent on the North-East monsoon for the bulk of rainfall.
"This year (2016), the North-East monsoon has been highly deficient in Tamil Nadu. Rainfall in Chennai City is deficient by nearly 57%," Panneerselvam said.
"The water level in Chennai City's drinking water reservoirs is very low and the meagre storage currently available needs to be augmented to meet the drinking water supply requirements of Chennai City over the next few months," he added.
According to Panneerselvam, Chennai is critically dependent on the release of Krishna water in order to manage the difficult situation this year.
"I am given to understand that as on 5.1.2017, Kandaleru Reservoir has a storage of 13.53 thousand million cubic feet (TMC ft.). Therefore, Andhra Pradesh appears to be in a position to release water from Kandaleru Reservoir for Chennai City," Panneerselvam told Naidu.
In 1983, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh signed an agreement whereby annually 12 TMC ft. (excluding evaporation loss) of water from Kandaleru Reservoir in Andhra would be released at the Tamil Nadu border to meet the drinking water needs of Chennai.
Normally, 8 TMC ft. of water is to be supplied between July to October and another 4 TMC ft. from January to April.
"However, a quantum of only 0.99 TMC ft. has been released at the Tamil Nadu border in the period from October to December, 2016," Panneerselvam pointed out to Naidu.