Chennai is reeling under immense water crisis and Tamil Nadu is doing its bit to save the capital's already-worsened situation. They have now filled tanks with water and loaded them onto a train in Tamil Nadu to supply its manufacturing capital Chennai where reservoirs have run dry.
Technicians in the railway station at Jolarpettai, located over 135 miles (217 km) from Chennai, worked from early on Thursday to fill fifty wagons with 50,000 litres of water each, sourced from a south Indian river.
The unusual water train, expected to reach Chennai on Friday, will provide much needed relief to the carmaking centre dubbed "India's Detroit."
Tamil Nadu: The first train carrying water from Jolarpet in Vellore district is expected to reach Chennai tomorrow. The state government had announced to bring in water from Vellore by rail wagons as Chennai is facing water crisis. pic.twitter.com/znFmBKZYtO— ANI (@ANI)
Tamil Nadu: The first train carrying water from Jolarpet in Vellore district is expected to reach Chennai tomorrow. The state government had announced to bring in water from Vellore by rail wagons as Chennai is facing water crisis. pic.twitter.com/znFmBKZYtO— ANI (@ANI) July 11, 2019
The shortage has forced some schools to shut, companies to ask employees to work from home, and hotels to ration water for guests.
Bad water management and lack of rainfall mean all four reservoirs that supply Chennai have run virtually dry this summer. Other Indian cities, including the capital New Delhi and technology hub Bengaluru, are also grappling with water shortages.
The train was supposed to reach Chennai on Thursday, but leakages in valves connecting the tank to the railway station forced authorites to push back plans by a day, officials at the railway station said.
People living on the outskirts are blocking roads and laying siege to tanker lorries because they fear their water reserves are being sacrificed so city dwellers, businesses and luxury hotels do not run out.
Ground water levels in Chennai and in regions around the city have been falling due to lack of rainfall. Like many other cities, Chennai's growth over the past 20 years has been rapid and haphazard.
(With agency inputs)
Inputs From Reuters