Even after Madras High Court came down heavily against illegal extraction of groundwater, residents of southern suburbs said that the local farmers allowed tanker lorry operators to pump out water from their wells indiscriminately affecting the ground water levels in the surrounding areas.
Locals said that lorries using powerful motors were sucking water from the wells and the groundwater level has become very low in the neighborhood. However, the villagers added the helpless farmers told them that they were forced to sell water to the lorries to earn the only possible source of income.
A few days ago, residents of Santhosapuram and Vengaivasal villagers had even a staged protest at Tambaram-Velachery Road demanding a ban on lorries to fetch water from their localities. Though the police had convinced them to disperse from the place, no action has been taken so far.
Dinesh from Santhosapuram said, “The farmers are selling the water because of their poverty but it has an adverse effect on us. The municipality officials should take steps to stop the private lorries from sucking water.”
When contacted, Tambaram Tahsildar Bakiyalakshmi said, “The meeting was held a few days back with the public and lorry owners. We will soon look into the issue and control the private water lorries from fetching water.”
A proposal to legalize and monitor the extraction of water is underway but no concrete rules have been framed so far.