Chennai

Severe water crisis looming on city’s southern suburbs

Borewells have gone dry; municipal supply to the street tanks erratic

With borewells, the main source of drinking water, going dry, lakhs of residents in the southern suburbs are facing a severe water crisis.

Residents in the southern suburbs including, Pallikaranai, Medavakkam, Madipakkam, Keelkattalai, and Moovarasampet, are already feeling the pinch with no groundwater available even at 150 feet.

These residential localities were once surrounded by several waterbodies and had plenty of groundwater. S. Raghuraman, a resident of Medavakkam, said that families moved into these localities for the abundant groundwater.

A decade ago, the residents were digging borewells for a maximum of 100 feet but got water at a depth of 20 feet itself. “But today even if one digs a borewell up to 150 feet, there is no water,” he said. Metrowater’s piped water supply is yet to reach the localities. Mostly, it is the local bodies that provide drinking water.

No piped supply

M. Arokyanathan, a resident of Perumbakkam village, said “We have been depending on groundwater but the water depletion started from 2010. Supply through street corner tanks are not regular during summer time. It takes two to four days for water to be supplied in these community tanks as the demand has increased manifold.”

Similar situation prevails even in localities of Pallavaram, Chromepet, Hasthinapuram, Anakaputhur, Pammal, Tambaram and Sembakkam. M. Viswanathan, a resident of Subham Nagar, Pallavaram, complained that many residents are getting Palar water once in 10 days.

“I buy packaged water for drinking and depend on private water suppliers for other requirements.” He said: “I spend close to ₹3,500 a month to meet water requirements.”

The economically weaker sections are dependent on the limited water tankers operated by the local bodies. But even this has been drastically reduced making the residents shell out lot of money for purchasing water.

A senior official of the Municipal Administration and Water Supply department claimed that additional borewells have been sunk in Pallavaram municipal limits and old borewells were deepened in smaller town panchayats and village panchayats to provide adequate water to the residents.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 6:24:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/severe-water-crisis-looming-on-citys-southern-suburbs/article24062098.ece

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