Drinking water going down the drain for six months in Tamil Nadu

Metro water officials await nod from traffic cops to fix bust pipeline
Ongoing stormwater drain work near Pantheon Road in Egmore | R Satish Babu
Ongoing stormwater drain work near Pantheon Road in Egmore | R Satish Babu

CHENNAI: Thousands of litres of clean drinking water are going down the drain, as corporation contract workers who were at work at Aadithanar Salai in Egmore recently found out. A bust drinking water supply line has led to water flowing continuously through the stormwater drain into the Cooum for over six months now.

On Sunday, stormwater drain contract workers were working their way through waist-deep drinking water. While this has made their work more difficult, the wastage of water was a more pressing concern for both the corporation and metro water officials.

While corporation officials said they had intimated metro water officials after the issue was flagged by contractor R Rama Rao, metro water officials said they waited for permission from the traffic police to start work on resolving the issue. According to metro water officials, the first request to the traffic police to cut the road was placed at least six months ago. They are, however, yet to be given the go-ahead.

“We are aware of the issue and we approached the traffic police for road-cut permission six months ago and we have followed up many times since. As soon as we get the permission, we will start work,” said a metro water official.

Official sources said the police cited the unavailability of an alternate route to reroute traffic with the area being an important junction, for the delay in awarding permission. When asked if there were possibilities for an arrangement to stop the wastage of water, metro water officials said any attempt at a solution would require them to undertake road cuts.

Officials suspect work undertaken by other departments or telecom operators near the roundtana to be the reason for the leakage. In the meantime, officials have undertaken multiple trial pit searches to ascertain where the water of this quantum is coming from and have so far, identified breakages in two places that could have led to the wastage.

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