Cyclone Nivar: Storage almost full, water being released from key Chennai reservoir

PTI Chennai | Updated on November 25, 2020 Published on November 25, 2020

Authorities opening the the shutters of Chembarambakam reservoir on Wednesday noon. | Photo Credit: M. Vedhan   -  The Hindu

Flood warning issued to low-lying areas along the Adyar

As the storage level touched 3,000 million cubic feet in the Chembarambakkam reservoir as against it full capacity of 3,645 Mcft, authorities on Wednesday began releasing about 1,000 cusecs into the Adyar river as a precautionary measure.

As the surplus waters gushed forth with the opening of shutters after about five years, Chief Minister K Palaniswami inspected the dam premises and reviewed the precautionary measures and the outflow.


Palaniswami said he advised the officials to “carry out their work cautiously and without causing any inconvenience to the people.” On the dam’s storage position, the Chief Minister told reporters that it has reached 21.5 feet.

“The reservoir is receiving about 4,000 cusecs and from noon 1,000 cusecs is being released,” he said adding surplus water of about 2,000 feet from Aadhanur lake in the suburbs was also being let into the Adyar River.

“The Adyar River could carry upto 60,000 cusecs and people need not have any apprehensions. All precautions have been taken,” he said and pointed out that approximately, only 6,000 cusecs now flowed in the river.

Storage level

A flood control official of the Public Works Department said the storage level was close to 22 feet as against the full height of 24 feet. As per norms inflows received from now onwards should be released ‘as it is’ and it would be done in a phased manner, the official said.

The storage has increased in view of inflows from the Krishna river coupled with the monsoon rains and the current inflow stood at 4,027 cusecs (cubic feet per second), he said in a communique.

An alert, already sent by the PWD to local authorities said, “the outflow will be increased step by step based on the inflows.”

Chembarambakkam reservoir

The Chembarambakkam reservoir, which is among the very four important drinking water sources to Chennai is spread across 25.51 square kilometres and it is located in Kancheepuram district’s Kundrathur taluk. Poondi, Cholavaram and Red Hills are the other reservoirs.

The Adyar river empties into the sea, traversing city localities like Kotturpuram and suburban neighbourhoods including Sirugalathur and Kundrathur.

People, who gathered eagerly to witness the water release along the river bank were advised by the authorities to move away considering their safety while intermittent rains lashed the city and suburbs.

The Greater Chennai Corporation said it has cleaned up the Adyar creek besides other canals and lakes like Mambalam and Velachery respectively.

The GCC said it has already advised people living close to the river like those in Jafferkhanpet to move to its shelters adding “169 shelters are open and ready.”

For assistance, people may contact them at 044-25384530 and 044-25384540, the GCC said.

Palaniswami said all precautionary measures have been taken in view of the cyclone and so far 400 people have been accommodated here in relief shelters here.

Waterlogging has been reported from 30 low lying areas and GCC has deployed heavy duty motor pumps to drain the rain water, he said.

Also, electricity poles that were affected in city localities have been set right immediately by electricity corporation personnel, he said and appreciated government employees for their work.

City police said 12 teams, led by sub-inspectors of Armed Reserve, with necessary equipment and boats have been deployed for relief work. Police appealed to the people to seek their assistance, if needed by contacting the temporary control room at 9498181239.

As many as 38 uprooted trees were removed by them with the assistance of GCC and disaster relief workers, they said.

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Published on November 25, 2020
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