news Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 05:30
Written by  Aishwarya Ramesh

Chennai: When the AIADMK, led by J. Jayalalithaa embarked upon the Amma Neer More Pandal project, two months ago, they were set up in 200 places all over Tamil Nadu ,it appeared quite promising to begin with. However, its implementation has not been as successful as the former chief Minister might have expected in Chennai city.    To begin with, the pandals were to be placed in every neighbourhood in the city. This was their first failing- Amma Neer More pandals are not to be seen anywhere in many areas of the city; they appear to be quite irregularly placed throughout the city. When we do find a pandal, it lies in a state of neglect. Many of these pandals are deserted, only kept company by the smiling photo shopped pictures of Amma as the dust gathers on the pots and pans, bereft of any actual water.   The promise was that at these pandals, there would be water and buttermilk available-in addition to eatable products that act as a coolant to the body. “When the pandals were inaugurated, they gave buttermilk, cucumbers and even watermelon slices. They stopped after that day, and now it’s just water here,” says the man who manages an Amma mineral water stand at Perambur.   At Thiru vi ka Nagar, Chennai   Now many of these pandals don’t even have tumblers to drink water with.   The water at the pandals is poorly consumed, disproportionate to the heat that Chennai and many parts of Tamil Nadu are facing (The highest temperature this week is expected to be 37 degrees Celsius and it is well known that the month of May sees temperatures beyond this number). “Whenever there is a rations shop [nearby], we provide water to be used for the pandals. The government pays us for each can that we provide.” Said a shopkeeper, who wished to remain anonymous. The demand for these tends to vary-a pandal in Perambur sees approximately five 20 litre cans of water consumed a day, whereas other areas see as little as 2 cans consumed in a day.   At Perungudi - this stall had water    Mount Road, Nandanam - another stall having water    An AIADMK office-in-charge told The News Minute that all the stalls maintained in Chennai's four zones are being maintained well. When told that some of the pandals were not being properly functional, he said, "You might have visited the stall at night".   When told that visiting a number of stalls in Chennai at different times of the day garnered the same result, he, however, quickly blamed the local MLA in charge.   This is not the first time a scheme to provide water to the general public has failed. A similar scheme was embarked upon by the AIADMK government two years ago, but it did not succeed. It was met with a similar fate, the project not living up to its promise of making drinking water available to the people who need it the most.