With the water problem being acute in Coonoor following the main Raliah Dam becoming dry, water is now the main demand of the residents at poll meetings.

Even as the tourist season in this hill station is picking up, complaints among certain sections about the inconveniences being faced on account of various shortcomings are on the rise.

Following prolonged dry conditions inadequate water was the main complaint of the locals. Though municipal officials had claimed before the commencement of the season that poor storage in the reservoirs would not prevent them from supplying adequate water, many areas are caught in scarcity. Consequently demonstrations with empty pots have become common in various parts of the district.

Even private water sellers are finding it difficult to meet the needs of their regular customers.

With the water problem being acute in Coonoor following the main Raliah Dam becoming dry, water is now the main demand of the residents at poll meetings.

Rajesh Kumar James, secretary of the Coonoor Citizens Forum, told The Hindu that water scarcity has for the past several months been the biggest problem in the town and nearby areas. In a number of areas it takes 20 or 22 days to get municipal water. Hence people are forced to shell out a sum of Rs. 600 for about 1000 litres supplied by private sellers.

Stating that very shortly the forum will come out with a project which would be submitted to the district administration for implementation, he said that the government should explore the possibility of extending supply of water from the Parsons Valley Hydel Reservoir near Ooty to Coonoor. Importance should also be given to the implementation of the water supply scheme from Emerald.

G. Janardhanan, president, Public Awareness Association of Udhagamandalam, said that in supplying water through tankers the municipality should give preference to badly affected areas instead of adopting a turn system.

Civic officials said that both in Coonoor and here the showers received over the few days have not helped in easing the situation.

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