No water for 10 days to many areas; district administration and municipality fight vain battle

With summer at its peak, Pudukottai and its surrounding areas are reeling under acute water scarcity. The people have demanded that Pudukottai municipality and the district administration take action immediately to mitigate their problem.

The State government in 1994 implemented the Cauvery comprehensive drinking water supply scheme to provide clean drinking water to Pudukottai and many wayside villages.

Failure of monsoon crippled the water supply to the town. The five newly included municipal wards of Machuvadi, Poonagar, Rajagopalapuram, 35 streets of Kamarajpuram, Gandhinagar, Usilangulam, Sathiamoorthynagar, Tiruvalluvar nagar, Periar nagar, Koodalnagar, and Mannarkoil have been the worst hit.

With many colonies situated in the elevated parts of the town going without water for many days, agitations have become an everyday affair.

The revenue, municipal, and police personnel are having a tough time in pacifying the agitated people. Many areas have not received water for over 10 days. The problem became so serious, even the ruling party councillors staged a walk-out from the last municipal council meeting.

A section of residents of Pudukottai say inadequate supply from the Cauvery drinking water scheme is the main cause for the crisis. But it has affected those within the municipal limits, whereas the villages have been receiving the regular water supply.

The district administration and the municipality should take this into account and evolve strategies for distress sharing of the available water, says Rama Selvaraj, a DMK councillor.

According to R. Murugesan, municipal commissioner, the TWAD Board should supply 12.95 MLD (million litres daily) of water under the Cauvery water scheme, but there had been a big drop in the supply which was seven MLD at present.

The municipality is supplying water through the 24 overhead water tanks in different parts of the town.

The municipality to augment the water supply, has dug a giant borewell at theVellar river at Ammaiyapatti.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa sanctioned Rs. 30 lakh for commissioning separate power feeder for this borewell for the supply of water. One more borewell has been drilled at Kaikurichi.

The municipality recently commissioned 24 mini power pumps from P. Kumar MP’s Local Area Development Scheme, 18 mini pumps from Karthik Thondaiman MLA’s Local Area Development Fund, and another 21 from the municipality’s general fund. Under the drought relief measures, 32 hand pumps and 14 mini power pumps had been commissioned, he said.

A major problem confronting the municipality was the illegal tapping of water and the officials launched a special drive and seized many motor pumps. Water was being supplied to the residential localities on a rotation basis and four tankers had been pressed into service. Sanction had been obtained for getting two more lorries.

Meanwhile, ruling party councillors led by A.V.M. Baskar, town secretary of the AIADMK, suggested that the municipality take up the matter of adopting the distress sharing formula with the villages. Collector C. Manoharan convened a meeting on Thursday to discuss the severe water scarcity. The revenue, municipal, and rural development officials participated in the meeting along with the heads of the panchayats.

S.A.S. Sait, municipal chairman (in-charge), raised the issue. It was decided to convene another meeting to discuss the issue.