CHENNAI: Unabated illegal extraction of water in Madambakkam has residents worried that their groundwater will be depleted even before the onset of summer. Residents tried putting an end to one of the “greediest” water extraction operations in the town along the Paduvanchery Main Road on Tuesday but failed miserably. “Around 500 lorries of water is extracted from two agricultural wells every day and sold in various parts of the city for very high prices,” said a resident of Paduvanchery.
Videos taken by the residents who tried to stop the operations show the tanker lorry drivers unfazed by the opposition. “They told us they don’t care about complaints to the town panchayat or the police,” the residents said, claiming that the water extraction there has political backing and support of the town panchayat.
This comes even as the executive officer of the Madambakkam Town Panchayat issued a notice last week against illegal extraction of water in the region. The notice pointed out that the entire Kancheepuram district was reeling under water shortage and that the town panchayat had received complaints about extraction of water from private wells for commercial purposes. The notice even warned of action against violators.
The residents, however, claimed the notice has had no effect in the area.”Since these lorries end up catering to the massive demand for water among influential localities, the officials remain quiet,” claimed another resident of Madambakkam.
When contacted, Ganesan, the executive officer of Madambakkam Town Panchayat, conceded that illegal extraction of water is a major problem in the area. “After I received complaints from residents about the extraction of water in Paduvanchery, I have informed the police,” Ganesan said. Residents of Madambakkam have already approached the Madras High Court to stop a “controversial” government project which plans to extract 20 lakh litres of water every day to supply the nearby Chitlapakkam Town, and are forced to contend with illegal extraction of water as well.