With the government able to meet only 40% of the water requirement, millions of people in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu are depending on water tank trucks because of an acute shortage caused by drying lakes and depleted groundwater.
Sekhar Raghvan, a water expert, said yesterday that taps were running dry, but that meteorologists expect rain in the state this week and people are pinning their hopes on that. It rained for a while in the state two weeks ago, but not enough to replenish water bodies.
Gauri Shankar, a hotel general manager, said he was running his hotel in Chennai, the state capital, by hiring two tank trucks to bring water every day at a cost of 4,000 rupees (USD57) each.
“There has been no improvement in the situation in the past month,” Shankar said, adding that some companies have asked employees to work from home, and that some restaurants are closing early.
Apart from people hiring private water tank trucks, the state government has deployed 900 water trucks in Chennai to distribute water free to the poorest, Raghvan said. Those who can afford it can also buy water from the tankers.
Television images showed people lining up for water cans in Chennai and other cities and towns in the state. Ashok Sharma, New Delhi