Dated: June 27, 2009 The Honorable Chief Minister, Tamilnadu The Honorable Deputy Chief Minister, Tamilnadu The Managing Director (Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board) Dear Sirs, Sub: Depletion of ground water table in Valmiki Nagar by Marundeeswarar Temple The Marundeeswarar temple in Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai recently celebrated their float festival. In order to make the float festival a success, we are told that the huge temple tank floor was lined with clay so that water may be retained on the surface. Added to this around half a dozen bore wells were commissioned on the floor of the tank and dozens of metro water tanker lorries supplied water to fill the tank for the festival. The temple float festival took place with pomp and grandeur. It was highlighted in all the local dailies as a spectacle to behold after several years. But as many responsible citizens have noted, the manner in which the tank has been utilized for the float festival has cost our neighborhood ecosystem very dearly. The temple tank that served as a vast percolation pit is now covered with clay at the bottom and will not harvest rainwater anymore. Further, the bore wells dug on the floor of the tank continue to run round-the-clock even today (several weeks after the festivities have concluded) sucking up precious ground water and filling up the tank only for the water to evaporate under the hot summer sun. Sirs, a significant portion of Valmiki Nagar in Thiruvanmiyur depends on ground water to cater to their water requirements, given their over 10 year unsuccessful struggle with the Metro Water authorities to get adequate supply for the residents' daily needs. While our struggle with Metro Water continues, we are shocked to note that the manner in which precious ground water is being wasted by the temple with rank disregard to the effect of depleting ground water table in Thiruvanmiyur and the possible ingress of sea water into our water table. We are certain that, you as the custodian of the water resources of Chennai would not have permitted such wastage, had this fact been brought to your notice earlier. We request you to immediately intervene to stop this mindless wastage. In case requisite approvals for ground water extraction have been taken, please revoke them, considering the current water situation in Valmiki Nagar. We look forward to your early action in this matter. Thanking you, Yours truly, VAREWA (VAlmiki nagar REsidents Welfare Association)
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