CHENNAI: It’s been two days since P Saravana has been using his watchman’s washroom to bathe, as his water tank in the apartment is contaminated with sewage water. “The water that comes out of our pipes smells really bad. One can hardly breathe through it, and all our efforts to reach the officials have gone in vain. So we hired a person to store fresh water. But even that didn’t help much,” rues Saravana.
Ever since it stopped raining, residents from across the city complained about the flood water entering the sumps and getting mixed with fresh water. “When we ask the flat association to clean it up, they say that they are waiting for more rains,” said Anannya Suman, a resident of Apeksha flats in West Mambalam.
“The problem arises when the sewage water gets clogged on the roads. It remains stagnant there and usually seeps into the sumps. The sewage pipeline is close to the drinking water pipelines. A leak might have caused the problem,” says R Sigamani, an employee at an apartment in Ashok Nagar, pointing to the apartments clean water sump. “We had to clean the sumps twice every week with chlorine and bleaching powder, after residents complained of sewage getting mixed with clean water. We had to get fresh water from the tankers,” she adds.
“I have been going to my relative’s place everyday for the past week as we are not able to use the tap water here. Our complaints fall on deaf ears,” says Kalaimani* a resident at a ladies hostel in Ashok Nagar.
Corporation officials say they are going around the city, inspecting pipes for leaks. “We received a few complaints and have been inspecting. We will take action accordingly,” said an official.