In the face of an acute water crisis gripping Tamil Nadu, the Madras High Court has slammed the state government for failing to implement appropriate measures to tackle the issue. The statements came when the bench was hearing a petition concerning the exploitation of groundwater for commercial purposes.
Apart from seeking the state government reply in this regard, the bench also directed the Secretary of the public works department to submit a comprehensive report on the desilting of water bodies and other measures taken to deal with the acute shortage. Little or no steps have been taken by the authorities despite the expectation of a delayed monsoon, it remarked.
The state government told the court that Rs 212 crore has been sanctioned by the chief minister and the deputy chief minister for the construction of deep earth borewells for irrigating farmlands. Efforts are also being made to increase the output of water from 150 million litres to 180 million litres. However, the state's attorney did not provide clarity on the desilting of the four major reservoirs that supply water to Chennai.
Reports from the capital and other parts of the state have revealed that locals are buying water at Rs 3-5 per litre and roadside tea vendors can be seen selling water at that price in Chennai.