In a Jan. 3 letter to the editor of TYT, a reader named Elizabeth wrote: “We have no water in Chelem…none…nada…not a drop….why isn’t this news? We have been without water for days, even though we have paid our water bill in advance. It is not acceptable. Mexico wants us to buy here and when we do, we find that the essentials like water, electricity are sketchy at best. Why are you not reporting this? My neighbour says that the paper says they were pumping December 30 for eight hours…this is a lie.”
TYT followed up by checking with Progreso City Hall and was referred to the Municipal Drinking Water System of Progreso (SMAPAP). An SMAPAP official said that a leak near the Progreso-Merida highway and continuing repair work were responsible for the temporary outages of water service in the Progreso area.
However, on Friday Dec. 30, Diario de Yucatan newspaper reported that because the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has cut off the service to the city’s refueling tank and that the supply of drinking water arrives directly from the Tamanche collection and storage center, there is a shortage of water in the port, which affects many houses and shops in the center and the tourist area.
Since Wednesday afternoon drinking water is scarce in homes and businesses where there are no cisterns, although the occupants thought it would be something temporary.
The water that the tanks of the buildings had was exhausted, so that yesterday most of the neighbors woke without the liquid.
The Municipal Drinking Water System of Progreso (Smapap) owes almost $2 million pesos ($100,000 USD) to the CFE for billings in November and December, so as a measure of pressure the state-owned company suspended service to the offices of the Smapap, in Calle 80 between 37 and 39, Progreso.
CFE personnel then cut off the electricity to the port’s refurbishing facility on 80th Street with 39, from where water is supplied to homes, shops and hotels in the city.
Freddy Pech Martinez, director of Smapap, reported that the CFE cut the service to the prison last Tuesday at 10:30.
“By means of ‘bypass’ the city is being supplied,” he explained. “The water arrives directly, it does not pass through the city’s recovery yard because the CFE cut the light.”
The Smapap is due for November billing $580,000 pesos of which, according to Pech Martínez, $200,000 pesos have already been paid. An agreement was reached with the CFE to settle it Friday to reconnect the service to the prison.
In addition to the $580,000 pesos, of which $380,000 pesos is still outstanding, the Smapap owes $1.4 million pesos to the state-owned company in December, which agreed with that company to pay in installments to prevent them from re-cutting service.
TYT Newsroom with information from Diario de Yucatán.
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