CHENNAI: A section of Chromepet and Pallavaram residents have threatened to boycott the forthcoming polls if the Pallavaram Municipality doesn’t find a solution to their water woes. With wells and borewells already gone bone-dry, residents are forced to shell out thousands of rupees to water tankers.Chromepet and Pallavaram have been given Palar water connections, but residents allege that they receive water, only once a fortnight, but it is hardly enough even for a week. “Over the last decade, the government made many promises to address water scarcity, but there hasn’t been a single concrete scheme introduced,” said V Santhanam, president, Federation of Civic and Resident Welfare Associations of Pallavaram Municipality, justifying their threat to boycott elections.
Another activist claimed that the municipality keeps on dishing out false promises of adequate water supply through water tankers on contract. “But in reality, there are very few water tankers engaged on contract to supply water to supplement the fortnightly Palar water supply,” Murugaiyan, general secretary, Federation of Civic and Resident Welfare Associations of Pallavaram Municipality, said, explaining that middle-class localities are forced to fend for themselves.
“My husband and I set aside Rs 8,000 every month for four loads of water and are unable to save up for our kids’ education ,” said L Krithika, a resident of Pallavaram, fuming at the municipality collecting water charges and failing to deliver.
It is learnt that water supply is on ‘surge pricing’ in April itself. “Earlier, only in June we had to inform two days in advance for 12,000 litres of water which cost around Rs 1,500,” claimed Murugaiyan.
Pallavaram and Chromepet are dotted with waterbodies, but they have all fallen a prey to urbanisation and hold non-potable water. So, the municipality planned to follow in the footsteps of Anakaputhur and Pammal Municipalities and tap old quarry pits for water. “We are currently supplying water from the Moovarasampet quarry near Tirusulam,” said Senthil Murugan, Commissioner of Pallavaram Municipality, claiming steps were being taken to extract water from other quarries as well.