Traffic on Manali High Road was affected for nearly two hours on Saturday when over 500 residents of Korukkupet took to the streets in protest against the lack of supply of water for over a week.
Bearing empty pots, agitated residents of Ezhil Nagar A and B block, Chandrasekar Nagar, Annai Satya Nagar, MGR Nagar, Anna Nagar and Tiruvallur Nagar — all located near Korrukkupet — blocked the road and demanded resumption of supply. They complained that despite repeated pleas to Chennai Metrowater officials, no action had been taken to resume supply. They also made claims regarding their complaints being ignored and helplines being constantly busy. “Our houses are located near Buckingham canal and the dump yard at Kodungaiyur and the water in wells is murky. So, we primarily depend on Metrowater supply. I travel around three km to fetch water from neighbouring Krishnamurthy Nagar,” said K.S. Kumar, a resident of Korrukkupet.
Even as traffic piled up for over a kilometre on the road that connects areas such as Tiruvottiyur, Manali and Korrukkupet with other parts of the city, a police contingent led by assistant commissioner of police, Govi Manoharan rushed to the spot. Metrowater officials including area engineer, K. Sagadevan were also summoned. Attempts by them to pacify residents were not very successful with the latter especially angry at Metrowater officials for the lack of responsiveness.
“Over the past two weeks, we have not got any water from hand pumps and supply from tanks has been inadequate,” charged N. Marimuthu, a resident of Ezhil Nagar.
After nearly two hours of squatting on the streets, residents finally agreed to disperse after much persuasion by officials. The water supply to several areas across the city has taken a beating over the past few days as Metrowater’s sources for drinking water are fast depleting due to lack of rains. “Pipelines in most of the areas in the northern part of the city were laid decades ago and some of them might have developed leaks. We will attend to it. We will also increase our water supply through tankers,” said Mr. Sagadevan.