Consumers asked to verify delivery coupon of tankers

The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau’s probe, which led to detection of the supply of ‘contaminated’ drinking water by private tankers to bulk consumers, has brought to focus the Kerala Water Authority’s inability to put in place a proper mechanism to monitor tanker operators

The recent probe by VACB had found that private tankers do not supply the water sourced from treatment plants to the consumers on the same day itself, leading to contamination of water.

No mechanism

KWA officials told The Hindu that it had no mechanism at its disposal to check whether private tanker operators supplied the water sourced from its treatment plants at Aruvikkara and P.T.P Nagar to the consumers on time.

Now, private operators, upon demand from consumers comprising hoteliers, hospitals, flats and residents’ associations, source water from the plants after paying the requisite amount.

On payment, the tanker crew were issued coupon, having details regarding the quantity of water supplied, date and time of despatch, to the driver and another one to be delivered to the consumer at the time of supply.

“Once the tanker left the treatment plant, we don’t have any clue about their whereabouts.

Also, we don’t have the mechanism to track the tanker after it leaves our premises,” said a senior official attached to the Aruvikkara treatment plant.

However, lower-level staff in the plant said, it was a known fact that some of the operators do not supply the water taken from the plant on the same day itself.

Pit constructed

“In fact, reports were doing rounds that a particular operator has even constructed a pit near Vazhyila where they store the water taken from the treatment plant. The operator supplies the water whenever they get an order,” said the staff on condition of anonymity.

A KWA official said, consumers could dissuade the operators from committing the fraud by verifying the coupon at the time of delivery.

They could check the date and time of despatch at the time of delivery, the official added.