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Chennai's added areas yet to benefit from increased metro water supply

Though drought like situation has abated in the city, water supply to added areas remain sluggish.

CHENNAI: Twenty days ago, Chennai Metro Water upped its water supply by a generous 100 Million Litres per Day (MLD) which brought much relief to core city areas. But the same cannot be said for added areas on the city's periphery as the increased supply is yet to reach them.

Areas including Thiruvottriyur, Alandur, Nandambakkam, parts of Mugalivakkam, Puzhuthivakkam, Porur and Ambattur have seen no change in piped water supply and continue to receive water once in two days for only one or two hours.

Though drought like situation has abated in the city, water supply to added areas remain sluggish. In some areas like Ambattur and Alandur, residents complain of poor quality of water too. But thanks to recent rains, residents are managing with borewell water as groundwater levels have considerably gone up.

In Alandur, Adambakkam, Mugalivakkam and Porur, water is supplied on alternate days for one hour in the morning. While in areas around Nandambakkam, residents receive water from 6.30 am to 8 am once in two days. This was the water supply pattern even during times of water shortage three months ago.

"Two weeks ago, we received water once in three to four days only. But from last week we are getting water on alternate days. We hope that in the coming days supply will become regular," said P Nalan, a resident of Alandur.

Ranjan, a resident of Thiruvottriyur said water supply for only one hour once in two days was not sufficient. "We have no water shortage problem here. But we get piped drinking water supply only for an hour in the morning. This is hardly enough for a family of four. We want supply to be prolonged for another one hour atleast," he added.

Metro Water officials said that as supply was increased from 525 MLD to 650 MLD very recently, it will take a month or two for the water supply system to stabilise. As supply hasn't been increased to the usual 830 MLD yet, irregularity in supply is a common occurrence initially.

"Following a widespread water scarcity in 2014, there was heavy rains in 2015. Due to availability of excess water, we immediately increased the supply to 830 MLD. So in a week's time everyone got more supply uniformly," said a senior official.

"This is not the case now. As supply is maintained at an intermediate 650 MLD, residents in added areas will have to wait for a months' time to get the same supply as core areas," he added.

Also, a majority of water pipes will be dry and rusted as they didn't transport water for long. Because of this, when water passes through them now, it turns murky and sometimes smells foul too. "Though original water quality will be good, when it passes through old pipes its nature alters. But once the system is stabilised, this problem will get solved too," added the official.

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