Water supply erratic, residents tell Sampath

CHENNAI JAN. 3. City residents did not mince words while complaining of erratic water supply and the unusually long delay in getting water and drainage connections to their homes, to the Local Administration Minister, M. C. Sampath.

At the monthly grievance meeting held at Metrowater this morning, residents and even AIADMK functionaries raised their complaints and said things were getting from bad to worse. A senior resident of Sambandam Gardens in Taramani said he had lost count of the number of times he had visited the Metrowater office in the past 10 years.

"We have been paying all the taxes towards individual water and drainage connections all along and we just not know why we have been deprived of them," the retired Indian Bank employee said. He said that after their efforts, all they got was a circular in 1998 stating that their petitions had been received and that necessary action was being taken. However, there was no progress after this circular.

He added that at times, they were also made to pay fine on taxes for the non-existent water and drainage connections. Later the residents from the area questioned the rationale behind Metrowater collecting taxes when it was not in a position to provide the necessary facilities.

An AIADMK functionary from the Vyasarpadi area said erratic supply had become the order of the day. "There has not been even a single day when water comes out of the tap at 5.30 a.m. as you promised", he told the officials. He said the Sharma Nagar residents were the most affected lot as the area was located in the tail-end. He refused to buy the argument that water was supplied at the stated time. To this, the AIADMK man replied, "you please come to our locality and check for yourself", he said.

More than a dozen residents had turned up in the meeting. Such meetings were held on the first Friday of every month and today's was the fourth. While only a few were vocal about grievances, others submitted their petitions and left. Mr. Sampath, who is also Metrowater Chairman, said that as on date, 214 petitions had been received. While steps had been taken to redress the grievances of 122 petitioners, work was on in another 27.

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