When water becomes a luxury!

OMR, as it is called was promoted as the "destination" for IT companies in Chennai in early 2000's. No doubt, this promise has turned true to some extent in attracting IT companies on the corridor.

 Ramesh, was one of the those who decided to live and work on the corridor. He bought an house , five years ago. For the last five years, one of the major problems for him has been the increasing maintenance bill. The bill has been swelling primarily  due to the growing "water supply" bill from the tankers. Most of the stretch lacks potable water ( underground water is too salty to be used for any purpose!) and so, fetching water through tanks ( owned by local politicians)is the only option for most of the flats. 

A couple of years ago, when the zone was reclassified into "City limits", residents  rejoiced considering the fact that now the municipality will take care of fixing the water woes. In reality, the panchayat water connection which was available earlier, completely stopped and the reliance on water tankers went up from 70% to 100%. Ramesh almost shells out Rs 10,000 for water almost every month now.( The amount usually goes higher up in summer). 

When the residents association of the flat represented their woes to local counsellor  ( elected representative of the ward), he demanded Rs 3 lakh a month to ensure corporation water supply. When another resident managed to get an appointment with the chairman of the "Water Board", the interview turned futile as the "Chairman" asked him , "Who asked you to buy an house knowing that there is NO water". The resident could do nothing except to shoot back a question "Who asked you to provide the approval , when water was not available". 
Net result:- Residents keep paying the exorbitant water bills apart from paying their EMIs. Traffic problems and incomplete flats are other issues on the road that require another post to elaborate. 
Whenever, government promotes a place as the next destination and the real estate prices shoot up- the middle class/ working class are definitely not the real beneficiaries!
Lesson :-Ensure  basic infrastructure  availability before you buy a flat ( easier said than done :-) )

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