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In Kilpauk, overflowing conduit adds to residents' woes

Karthik Subramanian

Encroachers responsible for the breaches, says Metrowater official

CHENNAI: Breaches in the conduit carrying water from Red Hills reservoir to the Kilpauk Water Works have made life miserable for residents of colonies close to the facility.

Ten days after the heavy showers, many of them are struggling to keep the water away from their houses.

At Vellala Street in Ayanavaram, the overflowing conduit is worse than the torrential rain itself.

N. Thangaprakasam, who has been living in the locality for two years now, has to move around inside his home in ankle-deep water. He does not even flinch while operating electrical appliances. "What else can I do," he asks. "We have complained several times to Metrowater. Last week, we (residents of the locality) even forwarded a memorandum with signatures of 60 residents. But nothing has happened." It is not just the residents who are affected. Students of the Tagore Nagar Elementary School on the street wade through knee-deep water barefooted.

A senior Metrowater official said the encroachers on the conduit were responsible for most of the breaches. "They keep breaking the conduit for fetching water for cleaning and washing."

Breakages in the conduit are a problem for several years now. The 12-km-long brick conduit was built during the British rule between Jones Tower in Red Hills and the Kilpauk Water Works where it is purified before let into the water distribution system. According to sources, Metrowater is planning to concretise the conduit and hand it over to Chennai Corporation for landscaping and maintenance. The land will be handed over to the civic agency shortly.

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