|New Washermanpet tail-end
areas get erratic water supply
CHENNAI, MARCH 20. There are more 'to let' boards visible at the New
Washermanpet area than probably any other part of the city. Especially
along the Market Farm area and the adjoining Irussapa Maistry street
and Ponnuswamy street.
In the last couple of months alone, several families have vacated
their houses and more are waiting till their children complete their
final examinations. For nearly five years, these "tail-end"
areas have received only erratic supply of water through pipelines.
But the real nail in the coffin has been hit in the recent weeks.
Despite the official resumption of piped water supply to other parts
of the city, the residents here still wait for water tankers. The
groundwater is too saline for consumption and ironically, the Tondiarpet
region, which is just a few hundred metres away, receives systematic
supply through pipes.
"Water supply through pipes is almost a lost cause for us.
Since 1995, we have had a very erratic supply. Officials explain
that we are in the tail-end of the supply chain. The Government
now claims that there is enough water in the lakes and even the
Krishna water has arrived. But for us the situation has hardly changed",
says the secretary of Market Farm Welfare Association secretary,
A group of angry residents, consisting mostly of women, marched
to the local Metrowater office to register their complaint on Monday.
Most of them were fed up waiting next to water pumps during odd
hours for supply to resume.
"Sometimes, the water reaches a few households at the beginning
of the street. That too around midnight. Due to lack of pressure
most of the houses do not receive any piped water", says Ahmed
Fauzia, a resident of Venkatesan Street.
The residents also feel that they were better off during the drought
situation last year, when the entire city water supply was made
"At least then, the tankers were making daily trips. Now it
is reduced to alternate days," says D.Soundarajan, a 79-year-old
retired government employee. Due to his age, he cannot carry pots
to the tankers, and pays the nearby slum dwellers a "fee"
every day to fetch him water.
Some of the residents are enraged over the recent Metrowater notice
asking them to pay their water and sewerage tax and water charges.
"The letters promptly reached us through couriers this Sunday.
It is amazing that the Government expects us to pay despite the
deficiency in service," says R.Muthappa, a resident of Irusappa
Maistry Second Street.
Meanwhile, Metrowater officials clarified that there were some
"defective" pockets in New Washermanpet. The government
agency was undertaking some inter-linking works near Tondiarpet
Railway crossing near Vaidyanathan Street. Once the works were completed,
the present affected areas will start receiving piped water supply
through Patel Nagar Pumping Station, an official said.