CHENNAI: The number of people falling ill in Raja Street and its adjoining five streets at Mandaveli has drastically gone up over the last two years. Though symptoms may differ from person to person, the cause of their sickness is common – drinking water contaminated with sewage.
The 400-odd residents living in this area said that water supplied by CMWSSB was heavily contaminated with sewage since 2016. Though residents collectively took up this issue with senior officials of government agencies concerned, a permanent solution is yet to reach them. Raja Street, Velayudha Raja Street, Kandasamy Street, Raja Street East, T P Scheme Road and Raja Street extension are affected.
“Due to poor water quality, many fall sick often. My neighbour’s two children were taken to the hospital yesterday as they were suffering from a bad bout of vomiting. My husband fell sick too after washing his mouth with the contaminated water,” said Kamala Sambasivan of R K Mutt Road.
Two months ago, officials rectified the problem but this proved to be temporary. Residents found their sumps filled with foul-smelling black-coloured water recently. “After we approached the Mylapore MLA for a solution, officials immediately rectified the problem. After that for two weeks we got good quality water. On April 17, we got to know that the main sewer lines at the Adyar pumping station had burst. Our sumps were filled with sewage up to three feet. Since then this problem started again,” said R Subramanian of T P Scheme Road.
Due to this recurring problem, a majority of residents have started buying water from private or Metrowater tankers. For this, each apartment pays `3,000 in a month and extra to clean the sump also. “My watchman pours out nearly 200 litres of contaminated water. Though we hate wasting water, we are left with no other choice. Metrowater officials blame the CMRL as they might have destroyed some pipes while carrying out soil test. Residents are caught in between the blame game of officials,” said Ganga Sridhar of Raja Street.
A Metrowater official said that by Tuesday the problem will be rectified. “We could not attend to the problem as corporation will not give road cut permission during elections. Also, RK Mutt Road is a major bus route. But, we have located the problem and as its a localised one we will repair it soon,” the official said.