Residents of Somayampalayam Panchayat receive water supply between nine and 12 times a year. And they are supposed to use the water for 365 days.
This skewed equation with erratic water supply on the left and the constant demand on the right has troubled the residents, who say they are at a loss to balance the sides.
The attempt to balance the equation has been going on for the past two years, says E. Ramachandran, a resident. They have been suffering with the erratic water supply for the last two years. Prior to that they received water once in 10 or 15 days.
The shortage of water has forced residents to go in search of water to Edayarpalayam, Veerakeralam and other neighbouring localities, says S. Devaraj, another resident. Others buy water sold in cans. “We spend Rs. 35 on a can of water and for a family of three we require three cans a week,” complements R. Palanisamy, also a resident.
The residents did take up the issue with the Somayampalayam Panchayat but little came out of the meetings. “The residents made representations to the Panchayat and also to the district administration on more than 10 occasions. Assurances were given but not water,” laments C.N. Krishnan, another resident. Somayampalayam gets water from the Athikadavu scheme. The Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board supplies the water. Outgoing president of the local body P. Ramalingam says the Board supplies only around 90,000 litres a day as against the requirement of around 2.5 lakh litres.
He also says that the scheme was designed when the population was around 5,000. Now it has quadrupled.
“During his tenure, the Panchayat administration has done all that it can but it has its limitations. The water can be supplied only if the TWAD Board releases water,” is his argument.
Sources in the TWAD Board say that when they designed the scheme in the late 1980s, the Panchayat had only three habitations. As the days progressed, the village administration included more habitations. And, today there are 18.
They also say that the Board has brought in a new scheme to meet the requirements of Somayampalayam. Under the Rs. 200 crore Pilloor drinking water scheme for Palladam and 965 habitations, the Board has included the locality. The Board will award the tender for the project and issue work order once the local body election is over. The Board will take 18 months to complete the work, after which the locality will get adequate water.
Keywords: TWAD Board