Visiting malls for a wash, saga of Perumbakkam residents

Households in blocks 65 and 66 barely receive four pots of water each on alternate days

Published: 18th September 2019 06:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th September 2019 03:46 PM   |  A+A-

Perumbakkam

Perumbakkam TNSCB’s tail end block residents opening the lid of a metro water channel to fetch water. (Photo | Debadatta Mallick, EPS)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The water situation in the tail-end blocks in the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) tenements in Perumbakkam has worsened, making residents mull over vacating the premises. The blocks including 65 and 66 barely receive four pots of water per household on alternate days. Dirty clothes and vessels have piled up to the extent that residents use slushy water from pipe leaks in other blocks to wash them.

“When my son comes home from school, I get him to take off his uniform. I then dry it under the fan and get him to wear it again the next day. He has exams going on now but he hasn’t been able to bathe in a week,” said Radhika S, a resident of block 65. Radhika’s family purchases cans for `35 each even for rest room purposes.  “Sometimes, I get angry when my sons wants to use the rest room too often. I’m so frustrated that I yell at him,” she added. On Sundays, she convinces her husband to take them to the mall so her family can wash their faces and use the rest rooms.

Thirty-six-year old Vasanthi’s (name changed) daughter attained puberty last week.  “I sent my son to draw water directly from the sump because there was absolutely no water at home. Sometimes, the sump is also almost empty and we make do with the muddy water at the bottom,” she said.  “We are thinking of all options including moving out,” she added.

There are 13,000 families living in the Perumbakkam TNSCB tenements. Blocks 65 and 66 together house 196 families.  “The blocks at the entrance don’t have water troubles like we do,” said Swaminathan S, another resident.

When Express visited the spot, most overhead tanks were empty. Each tank is connected to two houses. Residents said that they didn’t know whom to approach to make water-related complaints.
TNSCB officials said that they had not received any complaints so far.  “But we will inquire and make sure the issue is solved,” the official said.

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