CHENNAI: For over a week, hundreds of families in North Chennai are struggling to fetch water required for drinking purposes, after a Metro Water pipeline supplying water to the area was damaged, leading to sewage getting mixed with water.
Residents alleged that officials are yet to fix the problem despite complaining a number of times, leaving them without water during the summer.
There are around 2,000 families at Nehru Nagar in Korukkupet.
“For over a week now, the people here are facing the problem of sewage mixing with drinking water. In these peak summer days, this perhaps is the worst thing that could happen to the residents,” rued Helen Mary, a resident of Fourth Street, Nehru Nagar.
“Frustrated residents here had decided to stage a dharna on the main road on Monday. But before that could happen, the local police intervened and assured us that they will take our grievance to the officials concerned. On the next day, the officials supplied the water to our street and a couple of other streets through tankers. But we had to pay the driver `300,” Mary added.
According to her, the Metro Water officials said there was some damage in the pipeline and needed time to fix it. “But till date nothing has happened,” she said.
Another resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the residents’ complaints often fell on deaf ears.
“We are a big family. One or two pots of water that we manage to get from these lorries are not sufficient for us. They send only two or three lorries to the entire area, that too only after we demand. This is not sufficient to meet the demand. Everyday, we have to fight with each other for a pot of water,” she said.
The residents also complained that the tanker supply was erratic.
On days when the tankers fail to arrive, the residents are forced to buy water from private suppliers who charge `6 or more for one pot of water.
Desperate for water for cooking and drinking, the people here are forced to shell out more. “We cannot afford to spend so much money daily on water, particularly in summer days when use of water is more,” said a home-maker from the neighbourhood.
Speaking to CE, a Metro Water official said that they received complaints of water pollution from the residents. Works are under progress to fix the problem, and in another one or two days it will be fixed, said the official. The agency will supply water to the area by water tankers whenever residents requested, he added.