Chennaiites woke up to a rather amusing surprise on Wednesday after Leonardo DiCaprio - yes, Titanic, or The Great Gatsby star if you want to sound refined - posted a familiar picture of the water-hungry district on his Instagram. We do not know if support from this unlikely quarters will help speed up the government's efforts to source water for the city, but comments that have been heaping up under the post shows that Chennaiites are full of gratitude. For all those who have scrolled through the 'parched Chennai' photographs that media houses have been publishing through this summer, this picture of a dried out well, in the Pallavaram area, might look familiar. In May, the picture was carried by most of the newspapers in Tamil Nadu; even some Malayalam newspapers covered it. Now, the same image has made it to the news section of BBC, from where Hollywood sensation picked it up.
The well in question has a small trickle of water which seeps out at a very slow rate. Around three buckets of water may be collected twice a day, at 6 am and 6 pm. As this amount of water is nowhere near enough for even a family, the homes that depend on this well, are bound to wait for their turn to collect the water. Each day, lots are drawn in a nearby temple to select the 2 families who will get water that day. The government supply has failed almost completely in the area since the end of March, and water has caused many registered police cases - not only in Pallavaram Zameen - but all across the metropolitan city.
The post, which begins with, "only rain can save Chennai," goes on to say that the officials are trying to source water for the city while the community is praying for rains. The Tamil Nadu chief minister, who had rejected the offer of water from the neighbouring state of Kerala earlier this month, has reportedly made provisions to bring water into the city by rail from Jolarpettai, which is an equally dry area in the adjacent Vellore district. So yes, DiCaprio, the Chennai community is indeed praying fervently for some showers.Read More