KWA supplies water from PTP Nagar, Vellayambalam
A flash strike called late on Saturday by a section of private water tanker operators by refusing to take water from the Aruvikkara collection point continued on Sunday, but with little impact on water supply in the city.
The strike, which was projected as a protest against alleged time restrictions imposed on the tankers on collecting water from Aruvikkara, turned out to be a protest against the arrest of a tanker driver on Friday.
The Aruvikkara police said the driver was arrested after his tanker hit an autorickshaw near Aruvikkara.
The local public got furious after the driver fled the scene, and they began blocking all tankers and calmed down only after the driver was arrested.
“They wanted the driver to be released and that is why they began the strike, and it is not against any restrictions imposed on collection of water as is being made out. The driver has been remanded for 14 days and he can be released only after that,” police officials at the Aruvikkara station said.
Nedumangad tahsildar A.C. Babu, who was at Aruvikkara from Sunday morning, reiterated that no restriction was imposed on water supply, either by the district administration or the Kerala Water Authority.
Only a small group
More than 500 water tankers were still collecting water to be supplied in Nedumangad and it was only a small group of tankers that was not operating, Mr. Babu said.
The Aruvikkara police, meanwhile, said complaints against the private water tankers in the region were on the rise, with the public complaining about rash driving, regular hit-and-run cases — most recently at Karakulam and Irumba — and even fisticuffs between drivers at the collection point.
Executive Engineer Prakash Idicula said KWA had made alternative arrangements on directions from the District Collector and was supplying water from its collection points at PTP Nagar and Vellayambalam.
The requirements of private hospitals and other private institutions which depended upon private tankers were met by KWA’s own tankers and through contracted tankers as well.
“There has been no disruption of water supply in the city due to the strike,” Mr. Idicula said.