Residents of Nainarmandam area complain about poor water quality

Health at stake: Women residing on Bharathidasan Street in Nainarmandapam showing the contaminated, discoloured water got from public taps. S. S. KUMAR   | Photo Credit: KUMAR SS

Residents near Nainarmandapam in Mudaliarpet constituency are complaining about lack of availability of potable drinking water, and health consequences of consuming unsafe water.

Hundreds of people belonging to lower middle class families in Bharathidasan Street, Thiruvalluvar Street, Muthatamizh Street, Jeevanandham Street, VOC Street and Thennanchalai complain that they are getting discoloured pipe water.

Sometimes the water supplied by the public health wing of the Public Works Department smells bad due to mixing of sewage with the drinking water, residents said.

“My four-year-old son first fell sick three weeks ago. He recovered but again developed fever and an upset stomach. When we took to him to a clinic near Nainarmandapam on Cuddalore Main Road, the doctor advised us to change the water as the boy is frequently getting sick due to drinking contaminated water,” said Iyyanar a driver residing at Bharathidasan Street.

If the residents want to obtain clean water, they have to travel around 2 km to collect RO water supplied by the government at a subsidised rate of Rs 7 for a 20 kg can, he said.

“When women are left alone, they cannot travel so much distance to collect. In my case, I will be away for a few days every month....therefore, I cant expect my wife to travel that distance. Many people are now buying can water from nearby shops for Rs 30 a can of 20 kg, he said.

A. Divya, a resident of the same street, said she was really concerned about her health and that of the children. “I am pregnant and I am really concerned about my health and that of the baby. We cannot afford to buy drinking water for Rs 30 every day,’” she said.

When the piped water gets boiled a white form like substance forms. “In the next street, people got water containing worms. The food cooked using the piped water also smells very bad,” she said.

C. Raju, a resident of Jeevandham Street, said the pipes laid are almost 30 years old and had developed cracks in several places. “Due to the leaks, sewage and other materials are getting mixed with the water. It is a serious health concern. Even boiled water gets discoloured,” he added.

The situation got worsened almost three months ago, he added.

DMK legislator, L. Sampath, while raising the issue in the budget session of the Assembly, said people are getting sick due to drinking contaminated water. One of the main issues is the lack of availability of ground water as lakes meant to recharge ground water, are used for other purposes, including for cultivating fish. Once, the owner catches the fish, the lakes are kept dried for several months, he added.

“The government should take immediate steps to provide clean drinking water to the people,” he added.


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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 9:15:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/residents-of-nainarmandam-area-complain-about-poor-water-quality/article36640703.ece

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