Published: 27th June 2019
740 students, 13 toilets and inadequate water supply — Korukkupet corporation school staff and children suffer
While Corporation authorities have requested metro water to supply water to their schools on priority, some schools in North Chennai said that their water woes were far from over
What happens when around 740 children between the ages of 3 and 13 use 15 available toilets without an adequate supply of water? Although conservancy staff do their job, the odour has become a part of life.
The last time the Corporation middle school in Korukkupet received water from the metro water tankers was on Monday. On Wednesday morning, their sump was a quarter full. According to staff, they will have to wait until next Monday for the next round of water. The second sump in the school, constructed a year and a half ago don’t have a connection yet.
“It (the toilet) is a little smelly but we adjust. Our watchman and teachers are doing their best to bring us water,” said Subiksha (name changed), a student of class 7. Once the water for the week runs out, the watchman and the conservancy staff in the school borrow water from the neighbouring houses- seven or eight pots of water from each house.
“Since it’s for the school, the neighbouring residents are very helpful,” said a non-teaching staff at the school. While Corporation authorities have requested metro water to supply water to their schools on priority, some schools in North Chennai said that their water woes were far from over.
None of the five toilets in the Corporation high school in Cemetery road in Old Washermanpet has a water supply. Water is fetched from the wash basin connected to the sump in pots as and when water stored in buckets in the toilets run out.
“If the water in the wash basins stops, we inform our watchman so he can turn on the motor. So, we can’t go to the toilet when we need to. We have to wait for a while until water is available,” said 14-year-old Shanmathi (name changed).
A conservancy staff in the Corporation primary school in Old Washermanpet said, “Our children are too young to understand when we tell them to use water judiciously. One of us has to be constantly on guard, making sure they don’t waste water.”
However, some schools like the Corporation higher secondary school in Tiruvottiyur High road and in Appasamy street said that there was just enough water to let them continue in their daily affairs without significant disruption.
“Until last week, water was scarce. But, since Monday, the supply has been large enough,” said S Saravanakumar, a student of class 11.
When contacted, a senior Corporation official said that top Corporation officials met with heads of all schools under its wing on Monday and Tuesday to gauge the problem and put a strategy in place.
“We have coordinated with metro water to ensure there is water for our schools. Still, there is a 30-40% gap to be filled. For this, we have already deployed engineers to schools where new borewells are needed
and to schools where the depth of the borewells needed to be increased,” said the official.
“As for schools entirely reliant on metro water tankers, we have asked metro water tankers to supply to them on priority,” he added.