Udhagamandalam: In a bid to augment equal distribution of water in Coonoor town, which has been reeling under water scarcity and inequity distribution of water due to the difficult terrain of the town, a study by the Tamil Nadu Water Investment Co Ltd (TWIC) is underway, thanks to the relentless effort of the Citizens Forum of Coonoor. Soon, Coonoor town will fall under the ‘smart water distribution system’.
Besides 11 other resources, Ralliah dam is the main source of drinking water to the residents of Coonoor. Many residents get water supply in the municipal pipelines once in 20 days. Other water schemes like Gymkhana and Garanji help in alleviating water crisis.
With around 6,200 waterline connections in Coonoor town, the municipality requires at least 41 lakh litres of water a day for sufficient supply. But according to municipal officials, as of now, their limit is only 25-35 lakh litres of water from all the sources. Hence, water is supplied to the residents on regular basis but in some areas, it is once in 15 days as they are in steep hillocks. According to them, the problem in the hilly terrain is that water cannot be supplied uniformly. Certain downhill areas get water supply easily while uphill areas get only when the pumping motor runs, at least, for eight hours.
President of Citizens Forum Coonoor Jabarathinam said, “Keeping the future in mind, a report by the forum to tackle the water situation in Coonoor when monsoon fails was handed over to the municipal authorities and the government but in vain.” He said, “But now we have succeeded in bring in officials to find a solution for the perennial problem of water supply in Coonoor town.” He said, “The Nilgiris collector’s effort to bring together the municipal administration and the TWIC for a project study has given us hope.”
Nilgiris collector J Innocent Divya told TOI: “We have asked the commissioner of municipal administration (CMA) to set right the water distribution system in Coonoor town. Due to lower and higher gradients of the terrain, water is not supplied equally. This issue has to be resolved.”
She said, “Hence, the CMA has agreed for a study report by TWIC and the study is underway.”
According to Divya, IIT-Madras has been given a project to study the feasibility of increasing the capacity of Ralliah dam.
Ralliah dam, the main source of drinking water to Coonoor town, was built in 1938 (completed in 1941) with a capacity of 1.5 TMC meant for a population of around 10,000 to 15,000 people then. Now, the population of Coonoor town is around 55,000. Though there are around 11 other natural water sources in and around Coonoor, the Coonoor municipality is not able to meet the daily requirement of water for residents.
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