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Drinking water supply to Chennai cut by 50% amid worst drought in 140 years

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Chennai: Chennai is facing an acute crisis of drinking water as all four lakes around the city have dried up, sources said. Tamil Nadu is witnessing the worst drought in 140 years.

The city requires 830 million litres of water a day, but the supply has halved over the last few days, say water supply officials.

There is no daily supply of drinking water in Chennai as the four main reservoirs — Poondi, Red Hills, Cholavaram and Chembarambakkam are dry.

In many areas, piped water is being supplied only once in three days. The authorities have deployed 300 water tankers in the city.

The Veeranam lake in Neyveli, a town more than 200 km away, from where Chennai receives supply through a huge pipeline is dry too. The authorities, however, are tapping other resources in the area to pump 90 million litres a day to Chennai through the same pipeline.

The groundwater in Chennai and its surrounding areas is replenished by five lakes — Puzhal, Sholavaram, Kaliveli, Pulicat and Maduranthakam — all located within a 60-km radius of the city. In 2015, the lakes had overflowed due to unseasonal rains, causing devastating floods in Chennai.

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