September 16, 2019
The past few weeks at Ooty have seen copious amounts of rain. And the downpours hit the hill station at night. While this has meant good water supply to some areas, others are getting brackish and muddy water every day. This has not gone down well with the residents of these areas.
Ooty Corporation has 36 wards where nearly one lakh people are living in 25,000 houses. Nearly 30 lakh visitors come to Ooty every year and their numbers have been increasing with every passing year. The hill station has many lodges and hotels to accommodate these tourists. Drinking water needs of Ooty are fulfilled from dams like Parsons Valley Dam, Tiger Hill Dam, Marley Mund Dam, Doddabetta Upper Dam and Kotamund Upper Dam.
Last year the south-west monsoon and north-east monsoon brought surplus rainwater for Ooty. However this year, the summer rains were lesser than what was expected, which had greatly reduced water levels in dams. Even Parson Valley Dam, a major water source for Ooty, had water up standing at just 25 feet till March this year. The heavy and continuous rains of August came as a boon, with swollen rivers and tributaries quickly filling up these dams. The water levels in the dams, naturally rose.
Water from the Parson Valley dam was released for hydroelectric power plants at Emerald Dam. After the recent rains, the water level at Parson Valley has touched 39.7 ft, while the level at Tiger Hill is 22.5 ft, Dodabetta Upper dam has 24 ft and Marley Mund dam has reached 13 feet.
However, with some areas getting muddy water, residents have not been able to use this and are facing shortage of water. They complain that they have to strain the water several times to make it potable. They are demanding that the water be purified with chlorine before supply.