The ongoing water crisis in Tamil Nadu continues to bring residents to the streets in protest. The latest are serving and retired police personnel, who alleged that Metro Water was not periodically servicing their official quarters near Melakottaiyur, a Chennai suburb. Flash protests broke out on Kelambakkam road on Wednesday, as 300 residents brought traffic to a standstill on the stretch.
According to the Times of India, residents alleged that they had not received water in their quarters for the last two months. Even Metro Water tanker supply had reportedly stopped 15 days ago. Police officials who arrived at the spot to disperse the crowds heard their problems and contacted revenue officials regarding the issue. Concerned authorities were then directed to send water to the quarters.
In Chennai's suburbs and neighbouring villages, such protests have become commonplace as water supply remains elusive to pockets of the population. While residents within the city resort to paying exorbitant prices to private water tankers, others are demanding reliable water supply from the government.
Last week, residents Narasingapuram near Tiruvallur district took to the roads against the intermittent supply of water. Protesting residents held empty pots and buckets and blocked a road, demanding immediate water supply.
With reservoirs in Chennai city running dry, the government has been forced to depend on desalination plants, quarries and water from Jolarpet in Vellore to meet the city's water requirements.
The first train from Jolarpet came to the city on Friday. As many as 50 wagons with a capacity of 54,000 litres each had been brought from Rajasthan to be attached to the train and carry water. Each wagon carries 50,000 litres of water and on each trip, the train brings 25 lakh litres of water and a total of four trips per day will be made. Each trip costs the state government Rs 8,40,000. The Chief Minister had sanctioned a fund allocation of Rs 65 crore for the entire project.
While the Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) usually looks to provide 550 MLD of water to the city, they have blamed the inadequate rainfall between October and December last year for the erratic water supply.