Authorities on Thursday drastically scaled down the discharge from Chembarambakkam lake here, a day after releasing a torrent of surplus water into river Adyar following heavy rains as cyclone Nivar approached the coast.
Residents heaved a sigh of relief on seeing lesser water gushing out today as the delayed opening of the reservoir in 2015 after very heavy rains was seen as a trigger for the devastating floods that hit the city then, though the government had rejected it.
Officials of the Water Resources Department (WRD) reduced the discharge from about 5,000 cusecs on Wednesday to about 1,500 cusecs today as inflows into the lake declined sharply. The quantum of discharge is likely to be brought further down to 500 cusecs to maintain the water level in the lake at 22 feet as against its full level of 24 feet, officials said.
"This is being done anticipating more rains this northeast monsoon period," a senior official said. At present, the level at Chembarambakkam stood at 21.86 ft. All arrangements were in place and there has been no loss of lives as people living in low lying areas of Adyar river were evacuated to safer places, ahead of the water release, a senior official at the Greater Chennai Corporation said.
Posting a video of the Adyar river gushing with water, Dr Alby John, Regional DC, South region, Greater Chennai Corporation, tweeted, "Adyar River at River view Avenue Also, the outflow from Chembarambakkam lake is reduced from this morning."
The gates of Chembarambakkam reservoir, one of the four key drinking water resources catering to the city, were opened yesterday for the first time in five years as a precautionary measure after its storage was just 20 per cent short of its capacity due to heavy rains ahead of the incoming cyclone.
Meanwhile, people thronged the lake to see it brimming with water and the Adyar river as well. Officials, however, warned them against getting too close to the water bodies.