Protest against curbs on transportation time

The Private Tanker Lorry Association resorted to a flash strike in the city on Saturday night demanding a curb on what they termed restrictions on transportation time and supply of drinking water from the Aruvikkara reservoir, one of the main water supply outlets.

Members of the association have later decided to continue the strike, as mediation talks held at the Aruvikkara Police station late on Saturday failed to reach a consensus. The strike was called at 8.30 p.m. on Saturday. The operators claimed that 200 tanker lorries suspended services. These lorries supply drinking water to many institutions in the city, including hospitals and apartments.

According to a police official who held the mediation talks, the locals in the region had held a protest a few days back against lack of restrictions on these operators. This was raised at a meeting conducted by the authorities of the local bodies, who decided to impose the restrictions.

Managing director of Kerala Water Authority (KWA) Ashok Kumar Singh said no order had been issued to restrict the tanker lorry operators from sourcing water from the reservoir.

“The operators can source water from any of the three water supply outlets, which includes the one at Aruvikkara, PTP Nagar and Vizhinjam. No restriction has been imposed on them,” he said.

Talking to The Hindu, District Collector K.N. Satheesh said no order has been issued by the officials to impose any kind of restrictions on the lorry drivers.

However, according to a lorry operator, S. Anil Kumar , the operators were informed that they would not be allowed to transport water from the Aruvikkara dam, after 10 p.m.

“Around 200 lorries travel daily on this route supplying drinking water to city hospitals and housing colonies. If such timing restrictions are imposed, we would be hardly able to transport more than two loads on daily basis. This would result in huge loss to us and is totally unacceptable,” Mr.Kumar told The Hindu