Chennai (Madras) had been facing shortage of drinking water since decades. The problem had become acute due to the influx of heavy population and non-availability of adequate water resources for 6 million population of the city. Realising the suffering of the people of Chennai, Sathya Sai Baba, on 19 Jan 2002, declared that He would provide potable water to the people of Chennai.
Accordingly this project was taken up by Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust with the wholehearted cooperation of the State Government of Andhra Pradesh to improve the infrastructure of the Kandalaru-Poondi canal, now christened "Sri Sathya Sai Ganga Canal". The major components of this project are:
(a) Strengthen the bunds to enhance the storage capacity of the Kandalaru reservoir
(b) Strengthen the approach channel
(c) Install concrete lining of the vulnerable reaches of Sri Sathya Sai Ganga Canal
(d) Construct escape structures at various places to discharge flood waters in emergencies.
The canal sides were lined with concrete and paved with mechanical equipment according to modern technology over a distance of 65 km. Over 4,000 people worked in three shifts, and the work was done in more than 30 areas simultaneously to complete it in just 11 months.