The city has been facing severe drought condition for three consecutive years, thus leaving more pressure and challenge to source groundwater. There is also not enough supply of pied water because of huge demand and difficulty in tanker load water. In fact, there are residents who dig deeper until 600 feet for borewells in suburban regions like Avadi, Ambattur, Chrompet, Pallavaram, etc. These areas experience very poor water supply unlike the other city regions, says one of the Ambattur residents.
Our day to day needs are completely dependent on groundwater, and we are managing with the private tanker for which we spend about Rs 7 per pot. There are people who even dig borewells for up to 600 feet and still end up getting saline water. There are people who have no other choice than to go for private tanker water supply owing to dry borewells in this core summer.
In a month, there are about 30 to 40 borewells being sunk. We observe a hike in demand for borewell services by 15-20 percent. There are people from across areas who want to sink to a depth that is double that of usual. In cases of deep borewells, it is challenging to replenish groundwater level, say experts from Chennai Borwell Rig Owners and Contractors Association. In a month, there is increase in enquiries from previous 45 to 200. It is in fact tough to meet the demand because of insufficient manpower.
For digging up to 500 feet borewell in areas like Triplicane or Royapettah, the residents spend about Rs 2.5 lakh. As far as areas like Mylapore is concerned, there is water found at just 150 feet.
For commercial needs, the private water supplies indiscriminately extract groundwater. In order to address this issue, there is a proposal being made by the State Ground and Surface Water Resources Data Centre that the water sourcing should be licensed.
There may be curbing of total hours of bore water extraction and it may be monitored based on litres. Tripsheets may also be used for tracking private water tankers.