CHENNAI: Water continues to be a perennial problem in the peripheries of Chennai, as residents in these areas are still waiting for the taps and water to trickle in, despite being brought under the Chennai Corporation a decade ago.
Seven municipalities, three town panchayats and 13 village panchayats in Tiruvallur district and two municipalities, five town panchayats and 12 village panchayats in Kancheepuram district were brought under the Chennai Corporation in 2011.
“We still are dependent on groundwater and Metro Water tankers. Water tank work has been going on for a long time. They are charging us for the cess without providing us water,” rued Bhaskar, a resident of Nerkundram. He said they are dependent on water supplied by private tankers two days a week.
“They charge Rs 10 per can. We don’t have any other alternative,” says Bharti, another resident. “Initially, some seven years ago, they started digging up our area promising us tap water. We have been paying water cess but there is no sign of water,” she said.
Speaking to Express, a Chennai Metro Water official said: “A total of 42 areas were brought under the Corporation and work in 22 areas has been completed.” He said projects in 18 more areas are nearing completion while work in Neelankarai and Semencherry could not be taken up as these areas don’t have enough population density.
The official added that the Nerkundram water supply scheme is 74% complete. The water tank in Nerkundram, which is key to supplying water in the area, is 95% complete. Nearly 34 km of pipelines has been set up and another 1.13 km has to be completed, after which water connections will be given in Nerkundram.
Authorities added that work was delayed as they were trying to get funds from various financial agencies. Certain schemes were also delayed due to rains and lockdown. A Metro Water official said that adequate infrastructure is being created to supply water in the city. The 150 MLD desalination plant in Nemelli is expected to be complete by 2023 while another 400 MLD desalination plant project is awaiting nod from JICA.