Dry lakebeds and fights for water as drought grips India's Chennai

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As Manjula Sridhar was about to go into the operation theatre of a maternity ward in Chennai, the capital of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, her mother began arguing with the doctor over a water shortage that may delay the delivery. Earlier, the Kerala Chief Minister's Office had issued a statement, "As the major reservoirs of Chennai are facing shortage of water, in such a situation, the Government of Kerala has made a decision to extend the help".

"I thank the Kerala chief minister, but 20 lakh litres water will not be sufficient".

Earlier, speaking to reporters in Coimbatore, Velumani said deficiencies in some ground water conservation projects were identified at various places, including Chennai, and were being attended to. Yesterday was the 193 days of no rain overcoming the previous of 191 days in 2015. We have several employees and get many visitors every day.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) announced state-wide protest over water scarcity issue in Tamil Nadu's Chennai on Saturday. "In response to our offer, we have been informed that at present Tamil Nadu has sufficient supply and doesn't require additional assistance from Kerala". "We have to maintain uniform supply for the next four months, as our next monsoon is only in November and December", he said, indicating that his government would convene a meeting with tanker owners to give necessary instructions to collect uniform rates.

Punitha, a mother of two, told NDTV that she waited for hours every two days to get water from a government tanker. A local media report said metro water supply has declined by 8% from 650 MLD to 600 MLD.

While the middle class can just about manage to pay the inflated prices now being charged by private water-tanker companies, that option is not open to the poor. "We can not supply water only to the affluent but also need to take care of poor people.

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The normal pace of activity during this period is not happening in Tamil Nadu", R.Thayumanavan, former state head of the Federation of All Civil Engineers Association of Tamil Nadu and Puduchery, told IANS over phone from Cuddalore.

Here's the difficulty in India's sixth most exciting metropolis after its four reservoirs ran dry this week.

A few Malls even resorted to water rationing. Water from Veeranam lake in Cuddalore district is also being brought to Chennai, the CM added. The water shortage has led to violent clashes leading to two deaths in the city, according to reports.

The acute water shortage has hit IT companies, major businesses, residential apartments as well as schools of the city.

The Indian media have reported slum-dwellers fleeing their homes in desperation for railway stations and shopping centres in the hope of finding functioning toilets and drinking water.

The Guardian said families are managing through three pots of water for all their drinking, cooking and washing needs.

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