Water quality worsens in Sholai Nagar
The condition of several dwelling units has worsened due to corrosion
The quality of the piped water supplied to the residents of a coastal hamlet at Sholai Nagar (North) has deteriorated further, forcing the residents to take to the streets to condemn the authorities’ apathy in addressing their long-pending grievance.
The complaints of the residents are not confined to the poor quality of water. The condition of several dwelling units has also worsened due to corrosion.
Sholai Nagar is among the areas in the urban limits of Puducherry with high levels of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). A study conducted by the Public Health wing of the Public Works Department in 2019 found that the TDS level in Sholai Nagar had crossed 2,000 parts per million (ppm).
In certain localities, the TDS level had even touched 3,000 ppm. The acceptable range of TDS for drinking water is 500 ppm, a PWD official said, adding that anything beyond 2,000 ppm was not consumable.
Coinciding with the Water Day celebrations on March 22, a section of residents, with the support of the local leadership of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), took out a march to Raj Nivas to highlight the poor quality of the water supplied to the area.
According to Maheswari, a resident, successive governments have failed to address the problem. “We were forced to join the agitation as the quality of water is deteriorating day by day. We cannot consume the water or use [it] for cooking. Even milk boiled with a small amount of piped water get spoilt,” she said.
“The rice cooked using the water stinks after a few hours,” she added.
People had to travel to Kottakuppam to get RO water, said R. Saravanan.
“A majority of the people residing in the locality are economically deprived. For every 20 litres of can water procured from the RO plant at Kottakuppam, we have to shell out ₹5 and sometimes pay for transporting the cans. It is not economically viable to buy water every day,” said Nagamathi, another resident of Sholai Nagar.
She said even the washing machine would get affected by the poor quality of water. Most of the houses, she said, had developed cracks and spalling on the ceiling. “Life has become difficult. We are not able to consume safe water and reside in the house without fear due to the dilapidated condition of the building,” Maheswari said.
State secretary of the CPI(M), R. Rajangam, said the government’s priority should be to provide basic amenities, including potable water. Efforts should be made to provide clean, piped water to every household in the Union Territory, he said. “If the situation persists, everyone in Puducherry will have to depend on can water,” he added.
News credit: The Hindu