The Madras High Court on Thursday sought to know from the Tamil Nadu government what it had done to provide water to the people of Chennai. It directed the government to file by Monday, June 17, an affidavit on the steps taken.
The court wanted to know the status of the two desalination plants in Chennai suburbs.
A division bench of justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad directed Additional Government Pleader E Manoharan to submit the report, while hearing the case on Wednesday.
The four reservoirs supplying water in Chennai are almost dry and residents have been suffering for at least two months now.
Out of a total storage capacity of 11,257mcft of water, reservoirs feeding Chennai have only 36 mcft of water left.
The State government is taking steps to establish two more desalination plants at Nemmeli (on East Coast Road).
Municipal Administration Minister S. P. Velumani has said Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami will lay the foundation stone for the 150 MLD (million litres a day) plant in about a week's time.
The Chennai metro water has drastically cut quantum of water. However, it is supplying water through tankers to slum dwellers in the city as taps have gone dry. The middle class and the rich who get reduced quantum of water have to supplement with additional water from private sources.
Residents of apartment blocks buy water from private tankers at exorbitant prices.
The situation is worse in districts where many villages go without regular water supply for many days. As a result, affected women with empty pots have blocked roads in many places to demand action.
The State Government on Tuesday appealed to the Centre for Rs 5,000 crore assistance for drought-relief works like rain-water harvesting, new bore wells and desilting of open wells, besides funds for desalination plants.