The first 50-wagon train carrying water to Chennai left for the parched city this morning from Jolarpet railway station carrying 2.5 million litres of water. A second train will also carry more water to the city. The Chennai Metro Water has set a target of ferrying 10 million litres a day.
“Based on slots available for movement of these trains the capacity could go up,” said a railway official.
An event has been planned at Villivakkam railway station to receive the first water train. Local Administration Minister SP Velumani and other officials are expected to attend.
Southern Railways will charge Chennai Metro Water Rs. 7.5 lakh for each trip. The Tamil Nadu government has allotted Rs. 65 crore for this project.
Officials say the trains would take around five hours to reach Chennai’s Villivakkam, 220 km away, from where water would be pumped to the Kilpauk Water Works, the pumping station that distributes water to localities in the city.
However, the water supply by train would not increase supply to Chennai. It will only ease the pressure on the state government to ensure a minimum supply of 525 million litres to residents against the requirement of 830 million litres a day.