The water crisis in Chennai seems to have reached a critical point after 100 hostels in the busiest areas of the city shut down due to the lack of drinking water over the past few days.
This comes after the Tamil Nadu government vehemently stated that there is no water scarcity in the city and that the media was creating and "illusion of scarcity". The Madras High Court also slammed the state government and asked for a reply regarding the measures taken to preserve ground water.
The Chennai Hostel Owners' Welfare Association said that 100 hostels owned by the members faced shortage of drinking water and were forced to close down and asked the residents to leave. The association's general secretary, KS Manoharan, said he himself closed two of his hostels due to the lack of water. Manoharan said that many residents refused to leave since they don't have any place to go.
"Each member of our association owns multiple hostels and they are all in serious crisis. Many more hostels are to be closed in the next one or two weeks if the crisis continues," he told Indian Express.
In addition to this, a state-based hostel organization, Tamil Nadu Hostel Owners' Welfare Association, announced that 15 ladies' hostels out of the 200 in Chennai have been shut down.
Shobana Madhavan, the president of the association, said it was difficult to run operations when water tankers took over 20 days to come to the building. Earlier they would come in a couple of days. The tankers have also become very expensive, Shobana says. Previously, they used to cost Rs 1,500 while now the rates have gone up to Rs 3,500–Rs 4,000.
A senior metro water official had said that they were given clear instructions to prioritise government settlements, VIP neighborhoods and influential localities. They were told to maintain a steady supply of water in these areas and hence the delay in other areas.