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Port Blair, Aug 26 (UNI) The Andaman and Nicobar(A&N) Islands administration has embarked upon four major water projects in the remote far-flung Islands to tide over severe drinking water scarcity, particularly during the summers Under the programmes, while the height of Dhanikari Dam, which is the main source of drinking water supply to the city and its adjourning areas, will be raised, a dam will be constructed at Kamsarat nallah of South Andaman.

Other schemes aim at tapping perennial sources of water by transporting water from Rutland Island to Dhanikari reservoir and creating a sweet water lake at Sippighat.

'' Once the projects are completed, this will meet the increasing demand of the water to cater to the needs of growing population,'' Mr Bhopinder Singh, Lt Governor of A&N Islands, said today.

Mr Singh told newspersons that the scheme of raising the Dhanikari Dam by five meters was a ''landmark project'' of the Islands, which was expected to be completed by December 2010.

It would cost Rs 1929.94 lakh and the implementing agency would be the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).

This project had been approved by the Ministry of Home Affairs in May 2008 after constant persuasive measures by the Lt. Governor, Mr Singh told newspersons.

The Dhanikari reservoir is the prime source of water for Port Blair city since its commissioning in 1973. This 132-metre dam was constructed over Dhanikari Nallah to create a live storage reservoir of 3237 million litre (7130 lakh gallons) capacity.

The capacity was further enhanced by erecting two lock gates in 1991 and it is estimated that with the increase in the dam's height, the storage capacity will go up to 17025 lakh gallon from the existing 9625 lakh gallon.

The A&N Administration is also heavily banking on other crucial water projects like Rutland Water Project, Sweet Water Lake at Sippighat and Kamsarat Nallah Water Supply.

The Rutand Water project involved taping of perennial water sources of Rutland Island, an isolated Island 35 Km away from Port Blair and water would be transported through submarine pipelines, Mr Singh added.

A&N was badly hit by water crisis in 2007 due to scant rainfall, which forced the Islands Administration to take up various water projects in war footing.

UNI SKR SB DB2048

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