Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Saturday urged his Andhra Pradesh counterpart, N Chandrababu Naidu, to release water from the Krishna river to help Chennai meet drinking needs of its citizens, PTI reported. In a letter, Panneerselvam said the state reservoirs were running low because of a deficient North-East monsoon.

“Tamil Nadu and Chennai city are primarily dependent on the North-East monsoon for [the] bulk of their rainfall,” Panneerselvam said. “This year...rainfall in Chennai city is deficient by nearly 57%.” The “meagre storage” levels available in Chennai’s reservoirs need to be increased to meet the city’s supply requirements for the next few months, the chief minister added.

Panneerselvam noted that Andhra Pradesh was required to release an annual amount of 12 thousand million cubic feet of water from the Kandaleru Reservoir as per a 1983 inter-state agreement. However, only 0.99 thousand million cubic feet was released between October 2016 and December 2016, the chief minister said. While four TMC feet has to be supplied between January to April, the remaining eight has to be released between July and October.

“I am given to understand that as on January 5, 2017, Kandaleru reservoir has a storage of 13.53 TMC feet. Therefore, Andhra Pradesh appears to be in a position to release water from Kandaleru Reservoir for Chennai city,” Panneerselvam said.