Is a Water Tap in My Locality Too Much to Ask for?

Is a Water Tap in My Locality Too Much to Ask for?

My Report

Video Editor: Varun Sharma
Cameraperson & Producer:
Smitha TK

I am Saroja. I live in Badrikarai, Kodambakkam High Road in Chennai with my husband and grandson. The water problem is severe in the area. Earlier, we would get water at least for two hours a day, now we don’t get water even for 20 minutes. Moreover, that water is very muddy and it even stinks. There is no rain and if the government doesn’t provide water, I don't know what we will do.

Also Read : We Only Get Water for 15 Minutes in Our Society in Mumbai

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After going to the metro water office several times, we have convinced them to send us a water tanker. But water lorries come on alternate days and one isn't enough for so many people living here. Over 500 houses, including huts and housing board are in the vicinity.

We fill up 15 buckets when the tanker comes because we won't get water the next day. We have to use this water for 3 days to bathe, wash clothes and wash utensils. We carefully use the water and don’t use much.

The hand pump here was broken and only a month back the officials came and repaired it. So, you can pump even here, but what about those who are old and can’t pump water themselves? They wait for the lorry. More so, the pump is shared by all the people living here.

Also Read : Water Crisis Leaves Chennai Dry, at the Mercy of Tankers

That is not the only problem. If the lorry comes or we need to pump water, we need to go to the main road to fetch water and walk the entire distance. The lanes are narrow and winding and is very difficult. Sometimes the lorry comes at night 10 pm, but even in that darkness we have no option but to carry the water all the way home.

Do you know what’s the first thing children do when they come back from school? Run to fill up as many pots as possible! Everyone is always thinking of water.
The water they get on alternate days is is used judiciously as they need to take care of the water needs of their goats, cows and hens as well.
The water they get on alternate days is is used judiciously as they need to take care of the water needs of their goats, cows and hens as well.
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/The Quint)

Now the government has asked us to relocate from here, the centre of the city, where we have lived all our lives, to a farther location. They have built houses in Chemmenchery and Kannagi Nagar and many people who wanted to move to a more dignified place, shifted. But soon they all returned because the quarters allotted are very far from the city.

Also Read : #PaniKiPareshani is Real: 10 Facts Point to a Growing Crisis 

Saroja and the hundreds of people living in the housing complex need to carry 15 pots of water through these narrow lanes to their homes.
Saroja and the hundreds of people living in the housing complex need to carry 15 pots of water through these narrow lanes to their homes.
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/The Quint)

Jobs are important, right? Only if we have the money we can earn and eat. What is the point going there if we can't make a livelihood?

Every pot, bucket and box is filled with water because they don’t know when their supply will be cut off.
Every pot, bucket and box is filled with water because they don’t know when their supply will be cut off.
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/The Quint)

Also Read : Chennai Metro Turns off AC in Trains Due to City’s Water Crisis

Right outside our house, this dirty water is flowing. It is not any pollutants or discharge from factories. All this is the water we use to bathe, wash utensils, wash clothes. We have asked them (the government) to clean this or close this or build a wall, but they haven't done anything.

Just a foot away from their houses is this stream of dirty water. The people have requested the government to cover it up, but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
Just a foot away from their houses is this stream of dirty water. The people have requested the government to cover it up, but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/The Quint)

What do we want? Patta (deed) to this land, cleaner surroundings and most importantly, a tap to be installed near our house – even if we get water only alternate days, it will be very useful.

(As told to Smitha TK)

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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