Water bodies at low ebb in Chennai

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Even as the water bodies in Kancheepuram district are reeling under deficit rainfall over the past few months, they are being further depleted with private water tankers in the southern suburbs taking water from them.

The water sources in and around Pallikaranai are being constantly exploited and residents are concerned over the depleting groundwater table.

According to locals, groundwater in the area is being drawn illegally by private water tanker operators who are backed by political big wigs.

Water is extracted from several bore wells in and around Narayanapuram Lake using diesel motors and sold in neighbouring suburbs, they alleged.

“We are being deprived of our share of water owing to the illegal water tapping, which has been thriving in the locality for quite some time now. Several protests have proven futile,” said Mr E. Murthy, a local resident.

“Thousands of people in Narayanapuram are dependent on the lake for their water requirements. As exploitation continues, the water body will soon fail to serve any purpose,” he complained.

Adding to the woes, pollution in these lakes is hardly monitored by the government agencies. “People use the lake for bathing, washing clothes, vehicles etc.

We are unable to prevent them from polluting the lake. The quality of ground water has also been affected owing to indiscriminate dumping of garbage,” said Ms Mary, keeper of the Narayanapuram Lake.

When contacted, Kanchipuram District Collector Hanish Chhabra promised to look into the issue and take necessary steps to curb the illegal activities.

“Garbage was last removed from the water body over two months back. Authorities must take steps to clean up the lake and fence it in order to prevent illegal entry,” said Mr Rajagopal, another resident.

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