Chitlapakkam residents resort to signature campaign

Groundwater has been the major source of water for residents of Chitlapakkam for several months now. As borewells are drying up, leading to acute water shortage, residents have resorted to a signature campaign to attract attention of authorities concerned to step up public water supply.

Residents of Sarvamangala Nagar, Chitlapakkam, noted that the water table was depleting faster and more people were sinking borewells up to 500 ft. M. Ravi, secretary of the Sarvamangala Nagar Residents’ Association, said several houses in the proximity of the Sembakkam lake were also deepening borewells and had turned to packaged drinking water for their needs. Water supply from the panchayat had dwindled this summer.

Demanding relief

“We have started a signature campaign in our area to stress on constructing an overhead tank and providing street supply. Sembakkam and Chitlapakkam lakes must be desilted and release of sewage must be arrested to ensure groundwater recharge,” he said.

Though surrounded by four waterbodies, including Sembakkam and Selaiyur, residents complained that the area suffered due to negligence of water sources.

P. Viswanathan, convenor of Coordination Committee of Residents’ Welfare Associations of Chitlapakkam, said public water supply was stopped in March and people had no choice other than to purchase water from private tankers. “We have to get at least 70 l (per capita per day) of water but are provided with much less. The Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board must complete the Madambakkam-Chitlapakkam combined water supply scheme soon,” he said.

Sewage contamination

Officials of the Water Resources Department said several representations had been made to surrounding local bodies not to release raw sewage into the lakes. Voluntary organisations had been permitted to desilt the lake. But water level in the lake had to reduce to start the work. The department was ready to join hands with NGOs to desilt Chitlapakkam lake, they said.

Sources in Chitlapakkam town panchayat said measures were being taken to increase tanker supply. At present, water is provided through 20 tankers daily. The panchayat has represented to TWAD to provide a minimum of 2-3 lakh litres of water daily.

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