A special train from Jollarpet with 50 wagons of water totalling 2.5 million litres, reached the parched Chennai on Friday, bringing marginal relief to citizens.
The train should have started from Jolarpet, 217 km away in Vellore district on Thursday itself . But leakage of water from the wagons led to delay by a day.
The Tamil Nadu Government has made special arrangement with the Southern Railways to run such water trains every day till the situation improves.
Two such trains have been commissioned to transport over 11 million litres of water a day to Chennai.
Each water train will supply 2.5 million litres of water a day. The trains will make four trips to ensure at least 11 million litres of water every day.
The water from Veeranam lake in Vellore is taken through a pipeline to the rail wagons in Jollarpet. The train takes the water to Villivakkam in Chennai. In Villivakkam, pipeline has been laid between tracks to collect water from the rail wagons and take it to Kilpauk water works where it will be purified.
The megapolis with a population of nearly one billion, is getting only part of its required water from the Chennai Metro. The Metrowater is supplying 550 million litres a day which it plans to maintain till the onset of monsoon in November.
Even this rationed quantity is not supplied through pipes as pumping stations do not have enough water to build up pressure and pump it to households. So the water is supplied through water tankers. Taps have long since gone dry.
While slum dwellers depend on Metrowater whose trucks fill the water to syntax tanks ,middle class residents in apartment blocks, as also hotels and small eateries, buy water from private suppliers.