While residents complain that the district administration has failed to rein in those indulging in such activities, concerns are raised over the fast-developing residential area becoming bone dry due to illegal water extraction.
A visit by TOI to the area on Saturday found at least 15 borewells on either sides of a 500-metre stretch of Poonamallee Bye Pass Road at Seneerkuppam. However, it was just a tip of the iceberg, say residents. “Several such borewells have come up on interiors parts of Seneerkuppam as the locality is blessed with quality groundwater. Water is being extracted indiscriminately round the clock,” E Damodharan, of Vettrilai Thottam in Seneerkuppam, said.
According to him, at least 100 water tankers of 24,000-litre capacity each draw water daily. “This apart, several illegal borewells inside fenced land parcels are being exploited. We are paying the heavy price for virtual water theft that has impacted the groundwater table,” he added.
Damodharan accused that the Tiruvallur district administration, under which Seneerkuppam falls, had turned a blind eye to the illegal activities.
Water tankers making a beeline to Seneerkuppam supply to corporate hospitals, chain of restaurants and apartment complexes in different parts of the core city area.
D Dhanasekaran, of Thiruverkadu, said the impact of illegal tapping of groundwater at Seneerkuppam falling under Poonamallee Municipality is felt in the neighbourhood. “We have been residing at this area for 40 years. The depth of borewells has gone from 60 feet to about 500 feet in the last three decades due to exploitation of groundwater,” he said. Noting that multi-storey apartments are coming up at Seneerkuppam, he said, there was a danger that these housing units may not find water in the future in their premises due to exploitation of groundwater.
In April last year, six such illegal borewells were sealed by the revenue department of Tiruvallur district. Phones calls and messages to the Poonamallee tahsildar or the Tiruvallur revenue divisional officer remained unanswered.