Coonoor faces acute water shortage

L. N. Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on September 05, 2013 Published on September 05, 2013

The hill station of Coonoor in Tamil Nadu is facing acute water shortage. Residents say they get the supply once in 40 days.

With the main source of water for this town – the Raliah dam going dry, the town is water starved, say residents.

“We have never faced such a situation in the past,” an United Planters’ Association of Southern India (UPASI) official told Business Line.

The Secretary General, UPASI, Ullas Menon, however, said the residents at UPASI campus were more fortunate as they had not felt the pinch this far

“Coonoor town is facing acute shortage though,” he said adding “water is being purchased at Coonoor Club. The daily requirement is 3-4 loads (of 5,000 litres each) and the rate per load has shot up significantly to Rs 2,500-3,000 per tanker.”

While the residents were critical about the supply position, the staff at one of the hotels near UPASI said that the problem was mostly confined to the town area.

Around 2.5 million tourists visit the Blue Mountains here every year. They arrive in flocks in summer.

The town draws over 1445 million litres of water a year from Raliah and Bandumi dams and Gymkhana stream.

“We usually have some light drizzles. This year, the monsoon has failed and the weather has also remained quite dry,” Menon said.

To add to the woes of the people in this hill town, the municipality has undertaken desilting works and is in the process of deepening the reservoir to increase its storage capacity.

Those in the know of the town’s history say that the municipality has all along depended on the Raliah dam, which was built in the late 30s to cater to around 5,000 connections.

The municipality’s site claims that it is supplying 90 litres of water per day, per head and is in the process of identifying alternate surface and ground water sources to augment additional water supply in the town.

There are 4,924 domestic connections and 387 non-domestic water connections.

The municipality site also reveals that it has given domestic service connection to 5,312 applications out of the 6,000 sanctioned service connections.

When asked how they manage, an UPASI house-keeping staff said ‘it is difficult. There is a surface spring about half-a-kilometre from my house; we take a rickshaw and collect water every alternate day.”

Published on September 05, 2013
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