Carrying empty plastic pots in their hands, workers of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Saturday held statewide protest in Tamil Nadu against the state government over the water scarcity issue.
Led by former Chennai Mayor M Subramanian, DMK cadres also protested in the Jafferkhanpet area in the city.
"What was this government doing all these days when such big problem had arisen? Yesterday, the Chief Minister spoke about bringing water to the city. Why was this not done earlier? The measures he announced yesterday, all of them should have been done in the earlier stages," Subramanian told ANI here.
He added, "Now after the crisis has blown up, this only shows unpreparedness of this government. And now on the top of that, the government is organizing 'Yagya' prayers for rain. How this is valid?"
The locals too have expressed anger towards the state government.
"This is no regular supply of water to this area. We are suffering a lot because of the water crisis. Water comes once in four days. We have to cut short our office work for fetching water. We cannot buy bottled water, which is being sold at exorbitant rates," a local said.
Another local said "Water is a basic necessity. How can we daily run for water in this situation? We have to do other works also. Everybody in this area is crying for water. They have small children in their families. Even after standing in queues for long hours, we get three pots only. How come this is enough for a family? We don't have any other option, but to hold protest for water."
On Friday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami held a press conference following a high-level meeting on the prevailing water scarcity in the state.
Palaniswamy said, "The water table has drastically gone down in the city and the four reservoirs that were water sources to the city have completely dried up. In spite of this, 525 millions of litres per day (MLD) are being supplied to the city by Chennai metro and an additional 200 MLD of water is being supplied through desalinisation plants."
Palaniswamy also said that the government plans to bring an additional 10 million litres of water per day (MLD) through railway tankers from Jollarpettai.
"Tamil Nadu government is also working on strengthening Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala, to raise more water in the dam but unfortunately, Kerala has not been allowing us to do so, therefore, I urge the Kerala government to cooperate us in the regard," CM further added.
The Chief Minister also refuted media reports about hotels and schools being shut down due to the water crisis, saying that he has personally spoken to schools and these reports are incorrect.
Tamil Nadu has been reeling under acute water stress for the past several months as Chennai's Porur Lake, one of the main sources of water has reached its lowest level. Moreover, scorching heat and delayed monsoon have further exacerbated the situation.