After 196 days of no rains, Chennai finally had showers on Thursday 20 Jun 2019. Most parts of Chennai witnessed good rainfall, and everyone took to social media to express their happiness instead of thanking the Almighty.
But the woes are very very far from being over, as the situation of drinking water has deteriorated in the last two months with all four water reservoir in the city dried up and left with only 1% drinking water.
With a population of 50+ lakhs people living in Chennai, approximated with 8.5 lakhs of the household which have metro water supply to their homes directly. Rest is always dependent either in street water pumps or thru lorry supplied metro water thought out the year.
At present, Chennai is getting water from abandoned stone quarries in and around the city which has rainwater stagnated from years. But these abandoned places are now full of life as water lorry runs amok day and night to pump, fill and transport the water to the city.
Apart from abandoned quarries, Chennai also gets water from a 1,100-year-old Chola-dynasty era place thru new Veeranam project. Due to rampant population and ever-increasing building construction in the city, most of the small lakes and ponds have gone missing, this is 100% due to the greed of the Chennai city people who are always blinded while buying plots, flats and built in house without knowing the history of the area/exact place which they are buying.
Apart from the metro water, the groundwater situation has deteriorated in the last 2 months which are either salty or yellow in colour and at some place they are unable to pump out water as the groundwater is getting dried up due to rainfall.
Chennai has three rivers which criss-cross them, and none of them is capable of supplying drinking water at all. The most famous cooum river is total in disarray due to poor management from the last 40 years and filled with only filth, Adyar river and Buckingham canal too have the same fate.
Chennai gets rainfall for only two months between October to December every year, so saving rainwater becomes imminent. An approximate of 150 water bodies have closed in the last 10+ years. Chennai is on the way to become “zero city” if most water bodies get closed. It is also said that dams cannot be built as Chennai is a coastal city.
On the other side of the story, Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami has brushed aside the water scarcity situation and said there is no water problem in his state, and all the stories are created only by the news channels.
However, he has said that his team and his ministers are trying their best to solve this problem and advise the public not to use metro water for washing clothes or taking a bath. He also said that the situation might continue for the next 3 or 4 months.
Some good-hearted public has started suggestions in social media via videos as to how we can harvest the rainwater apart from rainwater harvesting, which was implemented by our late beloved CM J Jayalalitha.
It is expected that in the coming days, the students and youths of the city who are the lifeline of Chennai, will come out in numbers to clean and save the water bodies which are very less at present and they will also come up with more ideas to preserve and use rainwater.
On a lighter note, the condition of the Chennai public looks very similar to one scene from a Tamil Movie called “Kaththi” where the lead actor Vijay called Jeevanamdam along with the help of his village people block all the 4 main pipes which supply water to the Chennai city. In order to spread awareness of the problems faced by the village people due to water scarcity.
Indeed the water scarcity has affected the rich and poor equally. Water scarcity is now a common topic in all corners of the city.