Despite paying tax, Chennaiites face water shortage

Chennai: Residents of Sapthagiri Colony at Jafferkhanpet in the city have been facing acute disruption in Metrowater supply since March 2018, despite paying their water taxes regularly.

“Multiple attempts have been made to address the issue with Area Metro Water Assistant Engineer’s office. This is despite adequate water levels being available with Metrowater. In absence of Metrowater, residents are forced to buy water for everyday use, particularly at First Street in the colony,” said Sapthagiri Colony Welfare Association treasurer P Sudhakar.

“The AE and AEE have themselves seen and acknowledged the issue. In the last eight months, attempts have been made to dig the road at multiple spots to try cleaning the pipelines, but have not resulted in water supply. Some of the residents have also spent money from their own pockets to lay hand pumps, but to no avail. Most of them are keeping their pipeline end-points cleaned and hand-pumps in working condition,” he said.

The residents said there seems to be a fundamental problem in the pipeline design and valve controls. They have also repeatedly lodged complaints with the CM’s cell highlighting the issue, but those complaints have only been acknowledged with a note saying that action is being taken. Letters by the residents welfare association addressed to the Metrowater CMD did not work out, they said.

“On 24 October, we met Technical Engineer Shivashanmugam at CMWSSB Office, Chintadripet and discussed the problem. He directed the area officer to look into the issue,” said Sudhakar.

When contacted Metrowater area Assistant Engineer Balamurugan, he said, “They are looking into the issue. The problem is only at First Street in the colony and we have replaced the pipeline and the value. The residents are now getting water and it will improve in the coming days.”

Karthikeyan Halan