Chennai: With summer becoming harsher, residents of city’s northern and southern suburbs rely mostly on groundwater that is fast depleting. They have started feeling the pinch and are depending on private water tankers which charge hefty sums for supplies.
It is an irony that Ennore, which falls under jurisdiction of Greater Chennai Corporation, has no metro water supply. “We spend over Rs 1,500 every month for drinking water as groundwater level has drastically tumbled. Also, it is completely contaminated due to industrial pollution,” laments L. Srinivasan, a fisherman.
Drinking water augmentation pipework by metro water is delayed by more than two years and residents are now paying for official apathy, fumed civic activist D. Jayaseelan, a resident of Pammal. “Once in 10 days, I buy water through tanker costing Rs 1,300, for washing and bathing. This is an additional expense for me.
Besides, I purchase mineral water for cooking and drinking purposes. This costs another Rs 900. How can a middle class family spend close to Rs 5,000 on water?” he asked. “A good number of calls is received from South Chennai. But it is definitely less, when compared to previous summer. We used to operate over 700 vehicles last year when each vehicle took over six trips. As the demand is low, we are sending out 500 vehicles which take less than four trips a day,” mentioned P.S.Sundaram, president, Metrowater tanker lorry contractors’ association.
Far off villages which rely on open wells too are finding it hard to meet the growing demand. “Ground water in wells has gone down. I hope the situation will not turn worse in the next two months,” said G.Raman, a councillor of Perungalathur town panchayat....