200 families in Madurai fetch water from toilet

No other go: Women from Mutharaiar Street in Kannanenthal fetching water from a public toilet to meet their daily needs.

No other go: Women from Mutharaiar Street in Kannanenthal fetching water from a public toilet to meet their daily needs.   | Photo Credit: R. Ashok

Residents in a fix as two borewells had gone dry five years ago.

Every morning 63-year-old K. Murugeswari, a resident of Mutharaiar Street in Kannanendhal (ward 25) stands in a long queue carrying pots in front of a Corporation toilet to fetch water. Once she fills her pots with water, it is an arduous 300-metre journey back home through bushes and wild growth. She makes 10 trips this way to store enough water for her family.

Situated next to Kannanendhal tank, the Corporation toilet has become the source of water for 200 families residing on Mutharaiar Street. The toilet was built at a cost of ₹7 lakh using MLA Constituency Development Fund in 2014. Water, pumped through a borewell motor, is used by the residents for bathing, washing and other household needs. This ward is one of the 28 annexed to the Corporation.

The two borewells in their area went dry five years ago. “Earlier, when we were part of the Kannanendhal panchayat, the common borewells were sufficient to meet our needs,” says Ms. Murugeswari.

A walk through the street shows water pots occupying the living space of the small houses.

The residents say Corporation supplies drinking water through lorries on Mondays and Fridays. “This water is hardly sufficient to meet our needs even for a day,” says P. Meena, a resident.

Once the borewell motor at the toilet is switched on, we can fill up to six pots of water, says M. Selvapandi, another resident. “We all wait and fill our pots. At least we have this facility,” he says.

“We petitioned the Corporation so many times to repair the borewells, but nothing was done,” says Mr. Selvapandi. “If the borewells were repaired, we need not carry the pots to the distant toilet,” he says.

City Engineer S. Arasu says steps would be taken to ensure that drinking water is supplied to the area every day. A proposal had been submitted to create rainwater harvesting structures near the defunct borewells, he said.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 1:58:38 AM |

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