K. Raju

Supply not made even once in 8 days in Kodaikanal

In high ridge areas, situation is so grim

Plan to draw water from Gundar falls

KODAIKANAL: Even as the district administration spent crores of rupees for infrastructure development and other facilities for tourists, drinking water crisis has been haunting the tourist spot for the past 15 days. Drinking water supply has not been made even once in eight days. In some high ridge areas, situation is so grim.

Worst affected are people residing in Anandhagiri and Srinivasapuram, Munjikkal and other nearby areas.

At present, Kodaikanal municipality depends on three water resources —old reservoir, new reservoir and a bore well near Sterling Resorts — to meet drinking water requirements of residents in the town. The municipality has provided over 3,600 water connections of which 90 per cent domestic connections and the rest for other purposes.

Drinking water supply is erratic, owing to failure of monsoon and rapid depletion of water in these drinking water sources.

Already, the municipality could not cover 15 per cent of total population in the town, owing to shortage of supply.

With no rain in the catchments, storage is very poor in both reservoirs and could not meet the demand. Now, it manages to maintain drinking water supply only through bore well source.

“Quality of water is very poor. No one knows when the municipality distributes water. It does not even intimate time of supply,” according to residents in Anandhagiri.

Utilisation of large quantum of water for the ongoing construction activities too has hit water supply.

With large inflow of tourists and prevalence of acute water crisis, private water suppliers utilise all water sources, including small ponds, bore wells, and some times even highly polluted and mercury-contaminated Kodaikanal lake to meet water requirements of hotels, restaurants and lodges.

Now, water becomes a costly commodity. One tanker load of water is being sold for Rs.1,200 and Rs.1,500, depending on demand.

Several tourists have been struggling with water-borne diseases.

A medical shop owner in the town said that medicines for stomach illness were sold in large numbers.

Hotels and lodges had a tough time in the last fortnight and were running from pillar to post for water.

The municipality has plans to draw water from Gundar falls. But people in Poomparai Panchayat have vociferously protested to lift water from it as it would affect drinking water supply to the Panchayat.

With no option, poor residents depend on water flowing in small streams in case of emergency.