Chennai: The Madras High Court has strongly criticized the Tamil Nadu government for not taking ample measures to address the severe water crisis in the state.
The court had earlier sought a reply from the Tamil Nadu government on measures taken to address the water crisis. The HC observed that the government did not take adequate steps even if the water crisis in the wake of failed monsoons was expected.
The high court was hearing a petition on the exploitation of groundwater for commercial purposes. While the Tamil Nadu government said it took steps to handle the crisis (like allotting Rs 212 crore for digging deep borewells), the court directed the Public Works Department (PWD) secretary in the case to submit a state-wide comprehensive report on the number of reservoirs in the state, steps taken for desalting, amount sanctioned, and status of those works.
CM PALANISWAMI URGES MEDIA NOT TO CREATE AN ILLUSION
Even as Chennai battles severe water crisis, Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami has said the issue is not as big as being made out and urged the media not to create an "illusion" of scarcity.
"People should also understand the situation and cooperate. The media should not create an illusion of water scarcity using some stray incidents," Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami said on Tuesday.
K Palaniswami also said drought and deficient monsoon had resulted in the reduction of groundwater levels but maintained that the issue wasn't big. The CM said the state was largely dependent on groundwater to meet the requirements till the onset of the northeast monsoon in October.
"The [northeast] monsoon will arrive only by October-November. Till then we have to meet the requirements only from groundwater sources," he said.
Krishna river water from the Kandaleru dam in neighboring Andhra Pradesh was also not being realized in its full capacity, the chief minister said, responding to reporters' queries on the water situation.
"All steps are being taken to supply water. The severe drought and deficient monsoon (in the previous years) has led to depletion in groundwater levels." "But drinking water is being supplied through tankers. People are using this water to even wash clothes," he said.
He said though lakes feeding Chennai have dried up, steps were being taken to ensure the supply of drinking water, with efforts to augment it from Veeranam Lake in Cuddalore district.
In one of the worst summers, taps in parts of the state, including Chennai have gone dry, affecting citizens and corporates alike. While people queuing up with plastic pots in the city have become a common sight, IT companies are going in for various measures, including work from home.