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water crisis escalates, TWAD Board should take quick steps to solve it

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Decides to replace motor pump sets at the pumping stations at Keezhavathiam near Kulithalai

In the wake of drinking water shortage in various villages of non-delta areas of the district, the Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage Board (TWAD) has decided to replace motor pumpsets at the pumping stations of the Combined Water Service Schemes from the Cauvery riverbed at Keezhavathiam near Kulithalai.

In addition to them, it has been decided to replace the existing pipelines at six locations, where frequent bursts were reported in the recent past.

The TWAD Board operates two major combined water schemes from the Cauvery riverbed for supplying water to Manapparai and surrounding areas. While a scheme covers Manapparai Municipality and 50 other wayside habitations, another scheme is designed to supply water to about 3.5 lakh people living in 674 habitations in Manapparai, Marungapuri and Ponnampatti blocks.

According to official sources, there has been a sharp decline in yield under both schemes due to the dwindling groundwater table at the sources.

The TWAD officials manage to draw about 70% of water. As on Monday, the Combined Water Service Scheme for Manapparai municipality was supplying 5 MLD of water daily. The Combined Water Service Scheme for three blocks draws 16 MLD of water daily.

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While a section of habitations gets water on a daily basis, complaints have poured in from different villages around Manapparai that water has not been supplied for days together.

Frequent road rokos in various parts of Manapparai, Marungapuri and Vaiyampatti blocks reveal the seriousness of the issue.

Angry residents of Solaiammapatti, who were not supplied water for several days, took to the streets three days ago. Several protests were reported during the last two weeks including at Puthanatham, Karuncholaipatti.

Officials agree that there are issues in supplying water to tail-end areas of both combined water schemes. They cite dwindling groundwater table, wayside loss, water theft along pipelines, leakages at various places as reasons. Frequent power outage at the pumping stations of water schemes is also cited as one of the main reasons.

A senior TWAD Board official told that a number of short and medium-term steps have been initiated to tide over the water crisis.

Desilting has been done at the water tapping areas of the water schemes. Preventive steps have been taken to minimise the wayside loss and prevent water theft. In addition to them, it had been decided to replace the old pump sets at the pumping stations and damaged pipelines at an estimate of ₹7 crore.

(source : The Hindu)

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