Due to the acute water scarcity in the city, middle class people residing in apartments are now forced to buy metro water through tanker lorries, which do not reach them even after regular visits to the pumping stations.
This is evident from the queue standing outside the Valluvar Kottam metro water pumping station waiting to register for water, which they will receive only after 10 days (minimum) of registration. But in reality, the priority given to these registrations are least since the slum pockets and VIPs are high on the priority list of metro water distribution.
The manner in which the people are treated at the filling stations also leaves a lot to be desired.
A resident from Alwarpet, who has been visiting the pumping station regularly for past three months, expressed disappointment at the apathetic treatment he received at the station.
“It has been three months since we got good water. The officials at the filling station promise us water every time we approach but we do not get any. If we complain the next day, they treat us with disgust and ask us to leave the place immediately. Nobody in our area is bothered because we are surrounded by VIPs, so they get their tanks filled even when nobody is in the house,” lamented Narayanan, a resident of CV Raman Road, Alwarpet.
The procedures to receive metro water through tankers seem tedious and do not fetch any fruitful results. Regular visits to the filling station, filling endless reams of forms, empty promises, and a long and ardous wait for the water tanker has become an everyday story.
But on the other hand, this increasing demand has been unmanageable for the pumping station officials who are under pressure to fulfill everybody’s needs at the same time. An official explains that they are forced to fill the slum pockets and the VIP zones first before accommodating the public demand. “The demand has increased so much these days. Initially there were around 50 bookings per day but nowadays it has increased to nearly 200. We try to satisfy everybody’s needs as much as possible, but before that we need to do our routine, which is to provide water to slum pockets, government institutions, VIPs. The rest of the public, like those who live in apartments come in last,” said the department’s area engineer from Teynampet.
According to officials, the lack of containers of the right volume contribute to the present problem. An apartment normally needs a tanker lorry with a 9-12 thousand litre container, but there is severe a shortage of that container. So, the tankers do not reach people on time or the pumping station is unable to send the tanker to the registered places. This frustrates people who are forced to make a new registration time and again.
One possible solution to this crisis to which people are pinning their hopes on is the release of Krishna water, which is expected to bring 500 cusecs of water to the city. “We are hopeful that the release of Krishna water and water from the Veeranam lake will reduce the demand for water tankers as water supply through metro water line at homes will resume,” said the official.