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Take accountability for rainwater, NGO urges govt
Protesting against the government for the present water crisis, Arappor Iyakkam has urged the government to take accountability for every drop of rainwater and demanded a comprehensive system with accounts of rainfall, amount of rainwater stored as surface water, recharged as groundwater and amount of water let into the sea.
During the Kelu Chennai Kelu protest held in Chennai on Sunday, the NGO’s convenor Jayaram Venkatesan alleged that corruption and maladministration are one of the reasons for the water crisis and urged citizens to take up responsibility for making the government accountable. The protest was organised to demand the Chief Minister to take steps to mitigate the water crisis.
The protesters also demanded to treat sewage and use the treated water to recharge groundwater. “Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (Metro water) discharges more than 100 crore litres of raw sewage into the waterbodies each day. The government should ensure zero discharge of sewage into the water bodies by building a proper sewage treatment system,” they said.
Other prominent demands put forth during the protest are the restoration of all water bodies, prevention of dumping of solid waste into waterbodies and eviction of encroachments from waterbodies. Also, demands were raised to desilt Poondi, Puzhal, Chembarambakkam and Sholavaram lakes that supply drinking water to Chennai.
Voices were also raised to ensure supply of minimum of 150 litres per day per capita to all citizens at free of cost. The government should also ensure complete transparency and accountability in all the schemes related to water bodies, water supply and distribution. The state needs a comprehensive Groundwater Regulation Act, the protesters demanded.