Chennai: While the western and southern districts of Tamil Nadu have finally started ploughing their lands for irrigation after the recent rains, residents of Chennai, almost 50 per cent of them still suffer from parched throats, as a regular supply of drinking water remains a rarity in the city.
One of the major reasons is attributed to the delay in relaying the drinking water pipelines that are over three decades old. In many areas, contractors left the work midway due to lack of funds.
“In ward 58, new pipelines have been laid only for two km near Madras Veterinary College before workers abandoned the task. As the pressure of water is very low, there is no supply of water from the old pipelines despite availability,” said Aarani S. Srinivasan, a resident of the area.
He further added that, though the MLA disbursed funds, roads were not re-laid in the areas where the pipelines were changed.
Similar is the plight of numerous pockets in North Chennai, IT corridor and suburbs located after Tambaram including Chitalapakkam, Urapakkam and other areas.
An official from the metro water board said the department has plans of replacing nearly 300 km of pipelines across the city, with preference given to core areas. The department was supposed to start with replacing the severely damaged pipes and later add extra pipelines for equitable distribution of water.
However, residents complain that work in most of the places has not even started yet. M. Bhuvaneshwari, a resident of Korattur said, “In few streets, the pipelines are very low. So, only the streets with pipes on a higher level and the rest are forced to manually draw water. The replacement of the pipes is due for a long time now.”
Similarly, Chitalapakkam residents are supplied only nine lakh litres of drinking water per day as opposed to the proposed scheme of 35 lakh litres per day. Also, most of the old cast iron pipelines have been corroded and residents allege that they are supplied murky water....