The water shortage in Chennai is hitting the nightlife spots, with clubs and watering holes having to spend significantly on water procurement.
However, the pubs complain that this summer has been particularly hard on their businesses, having to buy water on a daily basis, with most taps and borewells running dry. Even though the state’s Municipality and Rural Administration Minister SP Velumani said that the water issue was being dealt with and that the subject was being “politicised”, clubs say they have been purchasing water from private water suppliers for the past few weeks with no running water. While some bars have installed aerators for taps to cut down the water used, a few others say a significant amount of expenditure is going into procuring water each day — enhancing their operational costs.
Restaurateur Arasu Dennis, who manages restobars like Off The Record and Boats in the city, says their operations see an effect due to the water issue. “Our costing goes higher because we have to buy water, but we also cannot charge the customers for it. There is definitely an impact on our operations,” Arasu says.
Some of the nightlife joints are taking measures to cut down their water usage and are informing their guests to save water.
Ankush Gupta, the Assistant Food and Beverage Manager at Radisson Blu, says, “We have installed aerator fittings to each of the taps at our bars and restaurants — which help us cut down water usage to nearly one-third. Guests are also being informed of the water crisis through a note at our hotel reception.” The commercial establishments in the city are being forced to buy water at Rs 5,000 per tanker due to the lack of ground water, notes the President of Tamil Nadu Hotels Association M Venkada Subbu.
“There is no doubt that restobars and restaurants will have to close their operations if they are forced to buy water over the coming days and if the water situation does not improve. Even if Minister Velumani denies the water crisis, the ground reality is that the price of water from private suppliers has nearly tripled in the past few weeks. These private suppliers are also finding it extremely hard to source water,” he tells DT Next.