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Last Updated : Jun 17, 2019 07:15 PM IST | Source:

Tamil Nadu water crisis: Industries cut down operations as authorities deal with clashes and 'water thieves'

While some IT firms in the state have reportedly asked employees to work from home, restaurants in the state are cutting down on their operational hours

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Representative Image (PTI)
Representative Image (PTI)

With the worsening situation of water reserves in Tamil Nadu, clashes between residents on the issue of water sharing have been reported from across the state, The Indian Express has reported.

For instance, Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanpal's driver, Aathimoolam Ramakrishnan, was arrested last week after he attacked his neighbour over a dispute on water-sharing.

Ramakrishnan's neighbour, Subhashini, had rushed in to help her husband Mohan after he was stopped from drawing water from a pump near his house in Chennai. That was when Ramakrishnan stabbed her in the neck with a sharp object, according to the report.


In another similar incident, on June 6, social activist Anand Babu was beaten to death in Thanjavur after he objected to four residents drawing and storing large quantities of water from a public tap.

The report states that the main accused, Kumar, assaulted Babu after the latter questioned their storing of too much water for one house at a time when other residents were struggling to get enough.

Apart from the violence, the water crisis has also hit the functioning of several industries, especially in Chennai. While some IT firms in the state have reportedly asked their employees to work from home, restaurants in the state are cutting down on their operational hours. Hotels are also reportedly serving food in disposable plates to save water.

According to a report by Outlook, hospitals are advising patients to postpone their surgeries if they are the "non-emergency kind".

"A three-bed operation theatre alone requires 6,000 litres of water daily. Calculate how much more water is needed to run the rest of the hospital," Dr Deepak, a gastro surgeon, told the magazine. The report states that IT industries have also limited the use of toilets in IT parks, with functioning toilets on alternate floors.

Madras High Court had on June 13 asked the government to explain the list of measures it is taking to address the crisis, particularly in Chennai. The court had also come down heavily on the ruling AIADMK government, questioning it on the status of desalination plants that were constructed along the East Coast Road and other places in the state capital.

Meanwhile, the Chennai Water Supply and Sewage Board (CWSSB) stated that the crisis is not as alarming as it is being projected.

Stating that the regular water supply from Chennai Metro Water Board has come down from 830 million litres a day (MLD) to 525 MLD now, TN Hariharan of CWSSB told Indian Express that the crisis will be managed "until November".

"Usual water sources such as Red Hills, Sholavaram and Chemabarambakkam lakes have fully dried up. But we are maintaining supply with the help of other sources, and we will be able to manage the crisis by November," Hariharan said.

The city water authority has also been asked to deal with "water thieves", or those who illegally draw water from pipes using high-power suction motors, the report states.

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First Published on Jun 17, 2019 07:15 pm
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