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In pictures: Parched Chennai forced to bring in water by rail

Updated : 2019-07-31 16:08:23

Demand for water in Chennai far outstrips supply, forcing authorities to take extreme and costly measures to serve the city's 1crore people. And so, every day, a train sets out on a four-hour, 216-kilometer journey, its 50 tank cars carrying 25 lakh litres of water drawn from a dam on the Cauvery river.

Workers fill wagons of a train with drinking water piped in from the Mettur dam on the Cauvery River, at Jolarpet railway station, 216 kilometres (135 miles) from Chennai. People in the city are suffering since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Workers fill wagons of a train with drinking water piped in from the Mettur dam on the Cauvery River, at Jolarpet railway station, 216 kilometres (135 miles) from Chennai. People in the city are suffering since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Workers fill train wagons with drinking water piped in from the Mettur dam on the Cauvery River, at Jolarpet railway station, about 216 kilometres (135 miles) from Chennai.  (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Workers fill train wagons with drinking water piped in from the Mettur dam on the Cauvery River, at Jolarpet railway station, about 216 kilometres (135 miles) from Chennai.  (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
On its daily sojourn, the 50-tank train carries two and a half million liters of drinking water, a small but critical source for Chennai’s water board, which is employing an army of trucks to deliver 50 crore liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
On its daily sojourn, the 50-tank train carries two and a half million liters of drinking water, a small but critical source for Chennai’s water board, which is employing an army of trucks to deliver 50 crore liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
A worker takes a break to drink water as train wagons are filled with drinking water. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
A worker takes a break to drink water as train wagons are filled with drinking water. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In early July, the government of Tamil Nadu approved a crash engineering project to bring in water by rail for the next six months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In early July, the government of Tamil Nadu approved a crash engineering project to bring in water by rail for the next six months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
The train carrying drinking water arrives at Villivakkam railway station in Chennai. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
The train carrying drinking water arrives at Villivakkam railway station in Chennai. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Workers arrive to decant drinking water from a train at Villivakkam railway station. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Workers arrive to decant drinking water from a train at Villivakkam railway station. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Workers attach a blue pipe to decant drinking water from a train at Villivakkam railway station. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Workers attach a blue pipe to decant drinking water from a train at Villivakkam railway station. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
A worker attaches a pipe to decant drinking water from a train at Villivakkam railway station. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
A worker attaches a pipe to decant drinking water from a train at Villivakkam railway station. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
A blue pipe is used to decant drinking water from a train at Villivakkam railway station. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
A blue pipe is used to decant drinking water from a train at Villivakkam railway station. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Water tanker driver Ranganathan climbs onto his vehicle at a water filling depot in Chennai. Demand for water in India’s Motor City, a manufacturing and IT hub on the Bay of Bengal, far outstrips supply, forcing authorities to take extreme and costly measures to deliver potable water to its residents. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Water tanker driver Ranganathan climbs onto his vehicle at a water filling depot in Chennai. Demand for water in India’s Motor City, a manufacturing and IT hub on the Bay of Bengal, far outstrips supply, forcing authorities to take extreme and costly measures to deliver potable water to its residents. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Chennai's water woes have been in the works for some time. Years of urban sprawl, rapid population growth and poor management of water resources have now reached a breaking point. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Chennai's water woes have been in the works for some time. Years of urban sprawl, rapid population growth and poor management of water resources have now reached a breaking point. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
A water truck carrying drinking water arrives at a locality in Chennai.(AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
A water truck carrying drinking water arrives at a locality in Chennai.(AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Authorities are taking extreme and costly measures to deliver potable water to its residents.  (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Authorities are taking extreme and costly measures to deliver potable water to its residents.  (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Residents wait for water trucks to arrive in Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Residents wait for water trucks to arrive in Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Residents fill drinking water from a truck in Chennai. A 50-tank train carries two and a half million litres of drinking water to the city daily. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Residents fill drinking water from a truck in Chennai. A 50-tank train carries two and a half million litres of drinking water to the city daily. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
K Devi, 41, centre, talks to her neighbour as they wait for a water truck to arrive in their shantytown in Chennai. Devi said that her daily ration means bathing and washing clothes only once a week. Sometimes she supplements her supplies with cans of water for 35 rupees (about 50 cents) apiece. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
K Devi, 41, centre, talks to her neighbour as they wait for a water truck to arrive in their shantytown in Chennai. Devi said that her daily ration means bathing and washing clothes only once a week. Sometimes she supplements her supplies with cans of water for 35 rupees (about 50 cents) apiece. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
A woman walks into a house with a vessel of drinking water filled from a water truck in Chennai.  (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
A woman walks into a house with a vessel of drinking water filled from a water truck in Chennai.  (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Colourful vessels lie in wait to be filled with drinking water from a water truck in Chennai. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Colourful vessels lie in wait to be filled with drinking water from a water truck in Chennai. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
This isn't the first time water trains have rolled into Chennai. When the city experienced a severe drought in 2001, it imported water by rail from Erode, more than 400 kilometres southwest of Chennai. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
This isn't the first time water trains have rolled into Chennai. When the city experienced a severe drought in 2001, it imported water by rail from Erode, more than 400 kilometres southwest of Chennai. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
A woman carries drinking water filled from a water truck in Chennai. The city has been forced to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
A woman carries drinking water filled from a water truck in Chennai. The city has been forced to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
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