The civic body that promised to supply drinking water once in two days, even after implementation of a dedicated water supply scheme, still remains a dream for the residents.
Considering the population increase and need for protected drinking water in all the 60 wards, during the DMK regime in 2010, the Salem-Mettur Dedicated Water Supply Scheme was announced at a cost of ₹320 crore. The work was divided into two phases. The first phase estimated to the tune of ₹188.48 crore, includes construction of a new water treatment plant, a water pumping station at Thottilpatti and laying pipelines from Mettur to Salem Corporation with entry point at Mamangam.
The second phase, estimated to the tune of ₹132.48 crore, includes laying pipe lines in all 60 wards, linking pipelines, testing water and construction of 22 over tanks in the city. The work order for the first phase works was issued on August 27, 2010 and it was scheduled to be completed by August 2012. But due to various reasons, including permission delayed by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to lay pipelines on the NH, the work was delayed.
The work for the first phase was finally completed in June 2014. After five years, in 2019, the second phase of work was also completed. But still, people in most of the wards in city receive drinking water once a week or ten days. Some wards in Hasthampatti zone receive water once in three days.
Speaking to The Hindu, S. Prabhu, a resident, said “we are receiving water twice or thrice a month”. When we petitioned the corporation officials, they claimed various technical reasons” .
Former leader of the opposition in the corporation council, M. Bhuvaneswari, said the scheme aims to supply water once in two days. As this scheme was brought by the DMK government, the works were done at a slow pace during the AIADMK regime.
She also alleged irregularities in laying new pipelines and water was still being supplied in old pipelines. So only people are unable to receive water in the correct interval. The State government should form a commission to inquire about irregularities in the scheme, she added.
City Engineer G Ravi said that per day 130 MLD of water was supplied to the people from this scheme.
Mayor A. Ramachandran said that he had held discussions with officials thrice. But still we are unable to find the answer why water could not be supplied, even though the scheme works are completed and we have adequate water in Mettur. Soon an inquiry would be conducted and erring officials would be brought to justice, the Mayor said.