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Copious rain during end-July pushes city’s water table up

As the metropolis received good spell of rains during the last week of July, all the 15 zones of Chennai have witnessed a rise in groundwater levels.

Copious rain during end-July pushes city’s water table up
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Chennai

According to the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (Metrowater) data, the city’s average groundwater table has increased by 1.54 metres. During the month of June, when there was no significant rain, the average groundwater level was at 6.68 metres and in July, the average level rose to 5.21 metres.

Among the 15 zones in the city, the water level in Kodambakkam has increased by 2.57 metres, which is the highest. In June, Kodambakkam’s groundwater level was at 7.51 metre and in July, the level has risen to 4.94 metres. The Metrowater has several observation wells (open wells) across the city to measure the groundwater levels every month.

However, the groundwater table in Royapuram zone remained almost the same with only 0.90-metre rise. Tiruvottiyur also witnessed only 0.88-metre increase.

Apart from Kodambakkam zone, Perungudi and Alandur zones recorded more than two-metre increase of groundwater level. The zones have witnessed an increase of 2.25 metres and 2.47 metres respectively.

As per the data, the Ambattur zone, where a large number of industries are functioning, has the worst groundwater level at 7.27 metres. At the same time, the zone recorded better groundwater level in July than June with 1.06-metre increase.

In 2019, Chennai had registered groundwater level at 7.28 metres, which is 2.07 metres lesser than the groundwater level recorded this year.

Meanwhile, water storage level in the four lakes — Chembarambakkam, Red Hills, Cholavaram and Poondi — that supply drinking water to the city is also several times higher than the water stored in 2019. On Monday, the lakes had combined storage of 4,508 Mcft against the previous year’s storage of 16 Mcft

ADB clears Rs 2,518 cr loan to set up stormwater drains
Northern parts of the city will soon get stormwater drains as the Greater Chennai Corporation has successfully received approval for a loan of Rs 2,518 Crore from Asian Development Bank (ADB) and floated tenders for the construction of new drains.
According to a Corporation official, the first phase of the project would be implemented in a few months and tenders have been floated in 11 packages. “The funds have been approved after an agreement between the funding agency and the Central government. The project duration is seven years and the funds will be released in a phased manner based on the progress of the work,” the official said.
Under the project, the civic body would construct the integrated stormwater drain network with a total length of 763 kilometres in the Kosasthalaiyar river basin. It may be noted that the civic body had approached the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). However, ADB approved the project and agreed to fund.
The official added that all the 11 packages are global tenders and the civic body should follow the tender conditions of the funding agency to avail the loan. “The representatives of the bank will review the progress of the project periodically,” he said.
Similarly, the civic body has already commenced the project to build integrated stormwater drains (ISWD) in Kovalam Basin at a cost of Rs 1,243 crore. Kovalam Basin has been segregated into M1, M2 and M3, and the civic body had already floated tenders to construct ISWD in areas that fall under M3 with the funds from German Development Bank.

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