Chennai: The first train carrying 2.5 million litres of water from Jolarpet railway station in Vellore district reached parched Chennai on Friday.
Adorned by garlands and banana saplings with a poster “Chennai”>Water for Chennai”, the train had left Jolarpet, more than 200 km from here, with 50 wagons of water at 7:30 am and reached Villivakkam near Chennai in the afternoon.
Tamil Nadu Ministers including D Jayakumar and S P Velumani were present at Villivakkam yard to welcome the first train carrying water from Jolarpet.
“2.5 million litres daily (MLD) of water in 50 railway wagons have reached Chennai’s Villivakkam railway yard. Water is to be taken to Kilpauk water storage from where it will be further distributed to residences,” Velumani said.
He said water by train is only one of the various measures being taken by the government to meet the severe water shortage in the metropolis.
“We have plans to ensure supply of 870 mld of water for Chennai,” the minister added.
He also dismissed reports of water shortage in Vellore district from where water has been brought to Chennai. “There is excess water and only that is being brought here,” he said.
The water brought by train is expected to be conveyed to the Kilpauk Water Works, three km away which is one of the facilities that feeds water to the metro.
Pipes have been specially laid for the purpose of carrying water from the railway station to Kilpauk. Two trips are planned every day for the water special.
Chennai needs about 800 million litres of water (MLD) daily and authorities are able to supply only 525 MLD in the current situation as the city faces an acute water shortage after the failure of monsoons for the last two years.
The state government had announced plans to bring water from Jolarpettai by rail wagons as Chennai faces an acute water shortage after the failure of monsoons for the last two years.
The work on bringing water from Jolarpettai was started a fortnight ago and Water Board officials had worked day and night to bring water from Jolarpet to Chennai by train.