People residing adjacent to Iyyanar Koil at Thengaithittu are complaining about the lack of availability of potable drinking water and other civic amenities. The piped water supplied to residents in the area smells bad and is yellow in colour.
Residents say they are dependent on water cannisters bought from government-run RO plants and private agencies as the piped water has become unsafe for consumption. A few weeks ago, residents of Pavendhar Nagar opposite to Iyyanar Koil, staged a demonstration near the overhead tank of the Public Health Division of PWD in the area.
“The quality of water supplied has deteriorated in the last several months. The water is yellow and smells bad. I have stopped using the water supplied for cooking and drinking. Even the utensils and cans used to store the water for bathing and cleaning purposes turn yellow due to the colour of the water,” said Valarmathi, a resident of Iyyanar Koil Street.
Her neighbour, Vasanthi, said the deterioration in the quality of water has prompted people in the locality to depend on supply from RO plants installed by government agencies or private players. It has become an additional financial burden for the residents, she added
“A can water from the RO plant cost only about ₹7 but people don’t like the taste. So, we buy from private agencies by paying ₹30 for a cannister. We have been complaining about the poor quality of water to authorities including our legislator, but we have not received any assurance on taking corrective measures,” she said.
According to Praveen, a resident and advocate, the authorities have also failed to provide proper road facilities and sewerage connections. In the absence of a sewer line, residents are discharging sewage into the backyard of their homes.
Also, there is no arrangement to collect garbage from the locality. “The absence of a sewer line and a mechanism to collect household waste is creating an unhygienic environment in our place. We have approached the government several times requesting laying of proper roads and sewer lines,” he added.
Kavita Vasudevan, Professor and Head, Community Medicine, Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Research Institute, said the U.N. General Assembly has explicitly recognised the human right to water and sanitation. People have the right to sufficient, continuous, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use, she said.
“Contaminated water and poor sanitation are linked to transmission of water-borne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A and typhoid. Absence of, inadequate or inappropriately managed water and sanitation services expose individuals to preventable health risks,” she added.