Chennai, so far receives its water from four main reservoirs - Poondi, Cholavaram, Redhills and Chembarambakkam.

Chennais 5th reservoir nearing completion What does this mean for the cityPoondi Reservoir | Wikimedia Commons/ Image for Representation
news Water Sunday, March 01, 2020 - 18:42

With summer nearing, an additional fifth reservoir supplying water to Chennai may help avoid last year’s drought situation. The long-delayed Thervoy Kandigai reservoir, created by combining two lakes Thervoy Kandigai and Kannankottai in Tiruvallur district near Chennai is expected to be completed by this April, according to reports.

Chennai, so far receives its water from four main reservoirs - Poondi, Cholavaram, Redhills and Chembarambakkam. The storage capacities of each total up to 11,257 million cubic feet (mcft). Now, the fifth reservoir will raise this capacity by 1000 mcft.

When filled twice a year, this Thervoy Kandigai-Kannankottai reservoir can hold up to 1000 mcft. Thervoy Kandigai-Kannankottai reservoir will receive its water from Krishna River and the rains. Once completed, it will supply 65 Millions of Liters Per Day (MLD) water to the city.

The new reservoir is a Rs 380 crore project that was first flagged off in 2013, expecting to be completed in 2015. But this project came to a standstill in just a year due to land acquisition problems. Reportedly, Rs 160 crore was spent to acquire lands from the Thervoy Kandigai and Kannankottai villages. Spread across 1495 acres, it included 806.73 acres of Patta lands, 633.67 acres of Poramboke lands and 54.60 acres of Reserve Forest area.

Work restarted in 2018 and was expected to be completed before the North-East Monsoons last year. However, this deadline too passed without the reservoir being completed, this time the challenge coming in the form of rains.

Now, almost 7 years since it was first proposed, the reservoir is nearing its completion. Speaking to TNM, an official from Metrowater Board confirmed that work was completed from their end. “We’ve completed pipe laying work, connecting the reservoir to the canal that will carry the water to the Poondi reservoir. Pipes were laid for about 17 kilometres,” he said. Minor work by Public Works Department is pending and is expected to be completed by this month.

Water from this reservoir will be conveyed through 66 km long pipeline to Poondi reservoir, and from here it will be used to supply drinking water to the city. According to Water Resources Organisation, this additional storage will serve 30 days of drinking water supply to Chennai City.

The summer of 2019 was one of the driest in the State of Tamil Nadu, with lakes, rivers and reservoirs drying up and ground water levels receding. The city of Chennai experienced its worst drought in decades, with its water scarcity becoming a topic of discussion world over.

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