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First water train from Jolarpet to reach Chennai by late noon today
Transportation of water from Jolarpet to the city has been delayed by a day owing to a request from Chennai MetroWater Supply and Sewage Board (CMWSSB), which has planned elaborate arrangements to receive water.
CMWSSB has allegedly requested the railway authorities to defer the launch of the “water service” to Friday so that Local Administration Minister SP Velumani can receive the wagons at Villivakkam.
“Water loading is complete. We are ready to start the train. Metro water officials advised us to launch the water service from Friday morning so that the Minister would be available when the wagons reach Villivakkam. If the train starts from Jolarpet by 7 am, it should arrive at the city around 2 pm Friday,” senior railway officials revealed to DT Next, adding that Metro water has planned a function to receive the maiden train at Villivakkam.
Carrying 2.50 million litres of water in 50 tanker wagons, the rake was loaded by 7 am on Thursday. Officials in Vellore were happy when the seal on the leaking pipe at Mettutharakakuppam held firm on Thursday.
Also, trials at the Parsanpet OHT on the same day were successful. The estimated cost per trip is Rs 8.15 lakh, according to railway officials.
Water train can manage one trip a day: Officials
Chennai will have to wait until a second train is brought in to get 10 MLD as promised by Chief Minister.
Chennaiites will have to wait for a few more days to receive 10 million litres of water per day as was promised by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. “For the first couple of days, we can manage only one trip. If we stretch it to our limits, we can perhaps manage two trips,” said a senior Southern Railway (SR) official.
He added, “Currently only one rake is available. We have asked for a second rake, which is on its way from Kota in Rajasthan (West Central railway). It will reach here either late on Friday or on Saturday. Till then we will have to depend on only one rake.”
“Loading the water takes up around three and a half hours. Travelling from Jolarpet to Villivakkam will take another five to six hours and it will take another three hoursto unload the water. Altogether, we will need at least 12 hours per trip. Till the second rake arrives, we have to return from Villivakkam to Jolarpet for the second trip. So, it will be feasible for us to complete one trip a day for now,” the official said. “Once the second rake arrives at Jolarpet, we would be able to manage two trips easily. But, we also must factor in passenger traffic on the route, which is our priority. Even if we stretch it to our limits, we will be able to manage only three trips that too with a lot of difficulty,” he added.
Government officials in Vellore, however, claimed that while the loaded water special train would travel around 40 kmph and take four to five hours to cover the 220 kilometres to Chennai, the return trip will be undertaken in little over two hours as the wagons will be empty. With two rakes being pressed into action, the officials anticipate a total of four trips daily to ensure that the city gets 10 million litres of water.
Meanwhile, officials again faced a delay in loading the wagons on Thursday as the loading contractor, due to lack of technical knowledge, filled all tankers to the brim. When railway officials came to know of this, they immediately ordered some of the water to be drained out as carrying full loads might lead the train to capsize while negotiating curves, said the officials.
MONEY & TIME
- Cost per trip 8.15 lakh
- Each rake has 50 wagons. Each wagon has capacity to carry a little over 54,000 liters.
- 3-4 hours required to load and unload the 50-wagon train
- Journey time would be five to six hours to cover a little over 220kms from Jolarpet to Chennai (Villivakkam)