CHENNAI: Many localities have permanently lost their groundwater source due to excessive extraction of water to meet the city’s growing needs. Residents of Madambakkam, a residential area in south Chennai, are worried whether their case too will end up the same. Madambakkam panchayat is now digging two more open wells on what locals claim is the bed of Madambakkam lake. This is done to supply water to Madambakkam and nearby Chitlapakkam panchayats.
Madras High Court in August gave permission for the project based on a submission by Public Works Department that the area has plenty of groundwater. However, residents say their borewells are increasingly going dry and two months the panchayat too has to dug as many as 50 borewells in the locality to meet the needs. Residents say the trend started when three open wells were dug on the bed of Madambakkam lake about a year ago and water was extracted for supply to neighbouring areas. They claimed that PWD officials have not conducted a single survey to determine groundwater levels.
Also, while documents with PWD said that under the joint drinking water scheme two lakh litres of water extracted from the wells will be given to Madambakam, the final court order said 20 lakh litres will be provided. But documents of Chitlapakkam Panchayat said four lakh litres will be provided to Madambakkam. “This is just one of the many discrepancies. Many of our borewells have gone dry,” said A Krishnan, a resident.
An official from Chitlapakkam Panchayat said due to recent rain, water levels have been replenished.
“We are sending the fixed quantity of water to both localities. One or two houses may have low supply from their borewells. But, there is a good quantity of water in these three wells,” the official said.