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Updated: July 17, 2013 09:01 IST

Tondiarpet residents complain of oil mixing with ground water

Special Correspondent
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A resident demonstrates how a rag dipped in water burns when set on fire. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam
The Hindu
A resident demonstrates how a rag dipped in water burns when set on fire. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Residents have been getting a murky bluish-black oily liquid when they pump water from borewells

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board on Monday issued a show cause notice to Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited for not notifying the Board about the closure of two pipelines in Tondiarpet. The Board also took about 20 samples from borewells in the area after residents complained of oil mixing with the ground water.

Sources said the oil company was given seven days to respond and report the action taken or else face closure. The company had abandoned the two pipelines in the area after frequent drop in pressure indicating leaks. In November 2012, it had also done some repair work after residents complained, the sources added. A company official said records showed that the closure of the pipelines had been communicated to the board. Mitigation measures were also on to ensure residents faced no problems, said the official, who denied that there were any leaks.

Scientists from the Central Pollution Control Board were part of the team that collected samples. Representatives from various oil companies were also present.

The oil in the water is due to a leak in an underground pipeline in the vicinity said residents of Tondiarpet. Cloth dipped in the water catches fire. The water, if set afire, burns till the oil content is consumed. Residents have been getting a murky bluish-black oily liquid when they pump water from borewells. A residential compound on Tiruvottiyur High Road has around 30 houses and all of them had borewells. Now, at least five wells have been closed due to oil getting mixed with the water.

“The company asked us to close our borewells and said they would take steps to stop the leak. But, the water now has more oil than ever. We sent many complaints to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and Chennai Corporation but until now, there was no response except an SMS from the Corporation,” said K. Umachandran, a resident. Some house owners have opted for Chennai Metrowater connections but find it difficult to manage since supply is only on alternate days.

“I have been used to water round the clock. But now, we are forced to pump the water to the sump and then pump it to the overhead tank. We don’t know what to do now,” said K. S. Jayaraman, who still hasn’t lost hope about his bore water. He filters it using bricks, sand, pebbles and the end product is water that still smells of oil.

More In: Chennai | News

There is total anarchy every where nowadays.There is an abscence of

from:  narayanan
Posted on: Jul 16, 2013 at 13:21 IST

So pathetic one of the oldest city in India still has not come up with co-ordination of works leading to lots of kios in the city. i hope the the relevant officers wake up now.

from:  K Vikram
Posted on: Jul 16, 2013 at 12:35 IST

What a pity! PSU act irresponsibly

from:  R T Namasivayam
Posted on: Jul 16, 2013 at 07:33 IST

Petroleum ministry, the petroleum minister, the PWD, the PWD ministers and the concerned officers and their dignitaries, must and should take response to this negligence very very serious and clean up the mess. Moreover the oil company must be billed for this negligence and also fined by the law department. The cleanup cannot be delayed by the prolonged scenario that the courts and the case may take. Just get the job done, save precious lives and save water, the essential requirement for our lives

from:  Raj Subbaram
Posted on: Jul 16, 2013 at 03:41 IST
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