Chennai SSS Water project progress of work

Article in The Hindu, Chennai dt.25 Jun.2003

By Hiramalini Seshadri (Sai Devotee)

Even as the taps run dry following the hottest summer in 93 years,  Chennai-ites have reason to celebrate. The Chennai Water Project of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust is nearly 70% complete at the Andhra end. On 19 Jan.2002, Sri Sathya Sai Baba announced that He would do something to provide drinking water to Chennai. Promptly, the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, a non-denominational, non- political, non-profit Organisation swung into action. Work on the Rs.200 crore project, which began in October2002, involving over 4000 workers and 50 site engineers toiling round the clock, is slated to be completed by August, this year.

By augmenting the canal's infrastructure and lining vulnerable  stretches of the canal, the Sathya Sai Project will ensure that Chennai gets 12 tmcft of water. A spin-off of the project is that 3 lakh acres of land in Nellore and Chittoor districts will also get irrigation from water saved by stemming seepage loss.

The work involved lining of around 65 km of the 150 km canal,  building additional gates and storage tanks and increasing the capacity of the Kandaleru reservoir from 16 tmcft to 68 tmcft. This  has already benefited Tirupathi town, for 1 tmcft of water was drawn from the Kandaleru reservoir to the Kailasagiri reservoir to ease the recent acute water shortage in the town.

Work on the Andhra leg of the canal was started after getting the  green signal from the Andhra Pradesh government. Quick to take the  cue, the Karnataka government also invited the Trust to take up water projects in the state; and today people of drought ridden Medak (Hyderabad) district have water, thanks to the Sri Sathya Sai Medak Water Project.