Water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

Water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

Water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

Water may have engulfed the streets of Chennai, Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur, but residents are desperate to get clean drinking water for the past one week.

Authorities are indeed racing against time to clean up contaminated water and distribute portable water and chlorine powder for purification, but millions of people, including children, are unable to get clean drinking water.

"We get just only one litre drinking water bottle and that too from non governmental organisations (NGOs) who come here for relief operations. This has to be shared between me, my wife and two children", K Munnusamy, a resident of Anakaputhur suburban area said.

He said water in his well is unfit for drinking since it was contaminated by flood water.
With Chennai Metro Water suspending supply in several areas due to damaged pipes, officials are unable to ensure the per capita water supply of 70 litres per day in the city.

There are breakages in many supply pipes across several flood-affected areas. We have identified them and are in the process of fixing them," a senior official of Chennai Metro Water said. While flood water largely receded from many areas, waterlogging remains an issue in several low-lying areas of the city.

Officials are distributing chlorine and other purification powders, but water in ponds and wells around Chennai remain brackish and could not be treated due to mixture of contaminated flood water.

"It will take some time to clean the ponds and small water bodies", the official pointed out. Lack of safe water meant that there is shortage even for bathing and washing purposes.
The Tamil Nadu government that released a detailed statement on flood and rain relief measures on Thursday did not say anything about the amount of water supplied to flood-hit areas.

The shortage is forcing many people to walk several kilometres to fetch drinking water.
"Every day, I am travelling six kilometre to get drinking water from the government-owned water tank", S Deeli Babu, a resident of flood-hit Mudichur area near Chennai, said. However, those continuing to stay at the shelter are lucky enough to get portable water regularly.

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