Drinking water from hand pumps contaminated with sewage in Chennai's Mylapore

Repeated construction work in two Mylapore streets is suspected to have caused damage to the pipes supplying drinking water.

Published: 22nd August 2019 09:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2019 09:51 PM   |  A+A-

Water from the hand pumps on Sivaswamy Salai emanate a foul smell due to mixing of sewage for the last three months (Photo|Special Arrangements)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: For a year now, residents of two neighbouring streets in Mylapore have kept the Metro Water pipelines closed since the water was highly contaminated with sewage. Making matters worse, water from the hand pumps too have been contaminated for the last three months.

The residents of PS Sivaswamy Salai and Balasubramaniam Street suspect the recent construction of stormwater drain in their locality is behind the contamination of their drinking water. They allege that during construction of the drains sewage and water lines must have been broken resulting in contamination. Though multiple complaints have been lodged with the Chennai Corporation and Metro Water in the last three months, the issue has not been resolved yet.

Contaminated water got through handpumps two days ago at PS Sivaswamy Salai

As residents can't consume contaminated water coming from the valves and hand pumps, they are asked to fetch water from the Sintex tank installed by Metro Water, which is refilled by tankers once in two days.

"After I raised a complaint a few weeks ago, the water was clean only for a week. But soon the water was again found contaminated," said Gangadharan J, a long-time resident of the locality.

He blamed the spate of construction activity in the stretch for the mixing up of the sewage with the drinking water supplied by Metro Water. In 2016, the damaged sewage pipelines were replaced along PS Sivaswamy Salai. Nearly a year after this, the road was relaid by corporation officials. Recently in 2018, the road was again dug up again to build stormwater drains. "But the drains carry only sewage, not a drop of rainwater," said Gangadharan.

R Janani, a resident of Balasubramaniam Street, said soon after the construction of the stormwater drains, the sumps in all houses in her street were half-filled with the sewage that flows from the Metro water pipes. "Since then we keep our Metro Water valves closed and only fill it up with water from tankers. As they keep digging up the road for pipe repair work, we are scared there will be a backflush of sewage into our sumps which will contaminate freshwater got from the tankers," she added.

When Express contacted the Chennai Metro Water Board, an official from ward 121 said that a complaint has been received.

"This contamination must have been caused due to a leak from a damaged pipe. We are in the process of tracing the leak. It will take around two weeks to sort out the issue as the road is a bus route road. We can only dig the road in the night which will slow down the work," said a Metro Water official.

India Matters


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