Searing heat and no water — this is currently the story of Chennai, as the Tamil Nadu capital is facing a forty per cent cut in piped water supply as the city’s four reservoirs have turned dry.
The Chennai MetroWater has cut piped water supply by 40 per cent. The city requires 800 million litres of water every day. But the agency supplies only 525 million litres.
Punitha, a cook in the heart of the city and a mother of two waits for hours just to get a little water every two days from a government tanker. She gets just seven pots of water on alternate days for her four-member family.
“Our children are not able to go to school and college. We collect water from the Valluvar Square tank at 1am or 2am. Boys can do that. What would girls do?” she told NDTV.
With barely enough water to drink, for many bathing or washing clothes is out of the question leading to fears of illness and disease. Punitha’s neighbour Vijaya added, “We don’t get water even to bathe. I have an office-going son and a daughter at home after college. I work. Water is not enough”.
A popular restaurant at Teynampet had stopped serving meals for lunch, for want of water. The restaurant manager says they faced severe scarcity of water and thus decided to stop meals. “Today we lifted the ban as tankers resumed supply,” he said.
A majority of Chennai’s residents now depend on private water tankers. Already expensive, they have now doubled their prices but even then the water doesn’t reach them on time. Syed Altaf, an office-goer says, “It’s a huge challenge for us. Water is the backbone of our industry. Chennai is in panic mode. Earlier we just required one call we would get the water the same night. Unfortunately it takes four days now”.
Along Chennai’s IT Corridor, high rise apartments and IT parks are under severe stress with no piped water supply. Turyaa, a five-star hotel requires one lakh litres a day but it gets just half of it.
Manohar Khushalani, Former Director, National Water Academy, told NDTV, “In 2015, Chennai had floods. The same reason that caused the floods is causing the drought. Reservoirs and canals have to be restored and encroachment should stop.”
Despite Searing Heat, Piped Water Supply Cut By 40 Per Cent In Chennai – NDTV News