Aggrieved residents of OMR have come together to write to the Chief Minister to address the water and sanitation issues faced by close to 400,000 families that reside in the area.
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The 100 or so resident welfare associations in the area that have come together under the banner of Federation of OMR Resident Associations (FOMRRA) called for immediate action by the Chief Minister.
The move has been prompted by the recent and frequent strikes by private water tankers which are the primary source of water for the residents. A strike by the private tankers association that was due to take place on May 27 was called off temporarily.
Faced with no fixed water supply or sewage connections, the residents have taken it upon themselves to construct water supply and sewage treatment plants in their apartment premises. The residents are also calling for the TNEB’s move to charge them commercial rates for electricity for the water and sewage treatment plants to be scrapped, as the plants are being used only for domestic purposes to meet the needs of residents.
Harsha Koda, the coordinator of FOMRRA said, “Every few months there is a strike and at that time we are forced to firefight. This time we wanted to take the issue to where the buck stops – at the office of the Chief Minister. We have also sent the email to the MLAs, MPs and other officials of Metro Water, TNEB and Chennai Corporation as all of them are responsible for this crisis.”
The disgruntled residents e-mail to the Chief Minister reads as follows:
Subject – Residents of OMR call for immediate intervention
The Hon’ble Chief Minster,
Government of Tamil Nadu
We are writing this mail on behalf of over 100 Resident Welfare Associations under the aegis of The Federation of OMR Resident Associations (FOMRRA). We are compelled to place before your good offices the dire circumstances faced by more than 400,000 families residing in the IT hub of Tamil Nadu. The Federation of OMR Resident Associations FOMRRA – is an apolitical initiative by the residents of Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR), Chennai. It is an apex body of resident associations, to represent and address long standing legitimate demands, and stand united to highlight common civic problems faced by the residents of OMR.
POTABLE WATER – As you are already aware, without basic amenities like piped water and sewage, we are almost entirely dependent on private tanker lorries to fulfill our daily needs as MetroWater (CMWSSB) is not able to fulfill the requirement.
Given that the state of Tamil Nadu is already going through a dire water shortage due to drought-like conditions, the tankers that supply water are not allowed to ply on our roads and are being hindered and harassed by some authority or the other – like Police, Tahsildars, Collectors etc. This is causing a lot of inconvenience to all the residents in our apartment complex as well as the whole of OMR.
We request you to instruct all authorities – Police, Tahsildars, Collectors, VOs, etc. to ensure that there is no hindrance in the supply of water by the private water tankers until such time that CMWSSB is able to supply water to us.
WATER TREATMENT PLANTS – Because there is no water supply, we are forced to buy water for usage. Hence this source of water changes everyday, and we are forced to install Water Treatment Plants (WTP) to make the water suitable for domestic usage and drinking. However the TNEB / TANGEDCO wants the residents to pay commercial electricity charges even though this plant is used only for treating water for use by the residents of the complex and there is NO COMMERCIAL application.
Similarly as there is no sewerage connection we have to install a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) to process the raw sewage and convert it to usable water suitable for flushing the toilets, gardening and any other non domestic use. Here also the TNEB / TANGEDCO wants the residents to pay commercial electricity charges even though this plant is used only for treating water for use by residents of the complex and there is NO COMMERCIAL application.
We request you to instruct TNEB/TANGEDCO to allow these water and sewage treatment plants to operate at domestic tariff rates.
In these pressing circumstances, we seek your kind intervention and personal attention to enable to implement schemes such as water and sewerage connectivity so as to mitigate the daily hassles of livelihood of the people living in OMR.
[The above information and letter were shared by the FOMRRA via a press note and has been republished here with minimal edits.]