07/12/2019, 14.35
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'Water train' sets off for Chennai in grip of month long drought

The convoy carries 2.5 million liters of water on 50 tank wagons.  By 2021, the city will be completely drained.  The poor complain that they are "sacrificed" in favor of luxury hotels and entrepreneurs.


 New Delhi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The train of hope: this is how the convoy of 50 tank wagons full of water arriving in Chennai is considered by the population.  For over a month the capital of Tamil Nadu has been dry due to an anomalous wave of heat that has dried up the four water reserves available to the city.

The population has been appealing for weeks for the government to find a solution to the lack of water.  The only way to distribute the basic necessities was through tank trucks, which arrived in the suburbs 1-2 times a week.

With the arrival of automotive and manufacturing factories, the city has undergone a profound transformation in recent years, to the extent that it has been dubbed the "Detroit of India".  For fear of not being supplied by cisterns, and sacrificed for the benefit of luxury hotels, entrepreneurs and residents of central areas, the poor who live in the suburbs have also blocked the streets.

Yesterday the train, almost 700 meters long, was filled with 2.5 million liters of water (50 thousand per wagon) in Jolarpettai, about 217 kilometers away from Chennai.  Its arrival into the city is expected at 2pm (local time).  The authorities assure that a second convoy will arrive "soon".

In recent weeks, the Madras High Court (former name of the city) has criticized the local administration for the delays in managing the water emergency.  According to NITI think tank Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), Chennai is one of 21 Indian cities that will be completely drained by 2021.

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