CHENNAI: More than 3,500 residents of Gandhi Street under Ward 41 in RK Nagar area of Korukkupet in North Chennai have been in a helpless state for the past four months since the tap water in their homes is of a dark brown colour, smells of sewage and also has suspended particles.
To compensate for this, Metro Water sends their water tanker every other day and each household is allowed only five kodams of water, which residents point out is insufficient.
“This water is even smellier when it pours out of the tap. I washed my face with it for four days and see the rash I’ve got on my neck,” said 57-year-old J Gandhimathi, a resident of the area, showing the water as well as her rash.
Residents cannot use borewells in the area, as the water table is too low as well as saline. “When we try to pump water from the borewell, after some time, sewage water too comes through that,” claimed 48-year-old P Aarai, another resident.
The Metro Water Board, supplying water in tankers, does not differentiate between households that have three and those which have four members. “We have to cook, bathe, flush toilets and do other things with this water for two days. How is it possible? We want regular water supply in our taps,” said a frustrated 42-year-old R Sujatha.
Adding to their consternation is the rudeness of Metro Water officials, who reportedly told the area residents that they were at least being provided with water, when asked about the polluted tap water. Residents say that when they approached the local area councillor with the problems, she brushed it off saying that she too was getting the ‘same water’ in her tap.
The residents of the area are mainly daily wage workers, small time utensil or sweet-meat traders. “I cannot take a bath till the Metro Water tanker arrives. It’s because of this, I’ve been late to college many times,” said an exasperated college student, who did not want to be named.
Since the water is limited, it also leads to quarrels between neighbours while standing in the queue to fill water from the tank, said 42-year-old G Geetha, who runs a family of three.
A Metro Water official told City Express that a water pipeline was being changed in the area and the issue would be resolved soon.