With a deficient North East monsoon failing to fill up the city reservoirs, Tamil Nadu government on 7 January urged Andhra Pradesh to ensure the immediate release of Krishna water to meet the drinking water needs of the city.
Chief Minister O Panneerselvam in his letter to his Andhra Pradesh counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu, highlighted the deficient North East monsoon and meagre storage in city reservoirs, and sought his personal intervention for the immediate release of Krishna water from Kandaleru reservoir.
"As you are aware, Tamil Nadu and Chennai city are primarily dependent on the North-East monsoon for bulk of the rainfall. This year (2016), the North-East monsoon has been highly deficient in Tamil Nadu. Rainfall in Chennai city is deficient by nearly 57 percent," he said.
The water level in Chennai's reservoirs was very low and the "meagre storage" currently available needs to be augmented to meet drinking water supply requirements of the city over the next few months, Panneerselvam said.
"Therefore, we depend on the release of Krishna water from the Kandaleru reservoir to partly tide over the drinking water supply to Chennai till July, 2017. Chennai city is critically dependent on the release of Krishna water, in order to manage the difficult situation in which we find ourselves this year," he said.
As per an Inter-State agreement reached in April 1983, an annual quantum of 12 TMC ft. (excluding evaporation loss) shall be realised at the Tamil Nadu border, by release of water from Kandaleru Reservoir to meet the drinking water needs of Chennai City, Panneerselvam noted.
Normally, 8 TMC ft. of water has to be supplied between July and October and another 4 TMC ft. from January to April.
However, a quantum of only 0.99 TMC ft. has been realised at the Tamil Nadu border in the period from October to December, 2016, the Chief Minister said in the letter.
"I am given to understand that as on 5 January, 2017, Kandaleru reservoir has a storage of 13.53 TMC ft.Therefore, Andhra Pradesh appears to be in a position to release water from Kandaleru Reservoir for Chennai City."
"In the circumstances, I request you to kindly instruct the officials to ensure the immediate release of the agreed quantum of water from Kandaleru Reservoir," he added.
Panneerselvam said he was writing to Naidu seeking his "urgent personal intervention" on the matter.