Tanker Lorry Contractors’ Association plans strike from June 8

The drinking water crisis is likely to worsen in the city as the Metrowater Tanker Lorry Contractors’ Association threatens to go on strike from June 8.

(See infographic at left.)

Members of the Association on Tuesday called a strike, demanding higher rates from Metrowater to meet mounting expenditure. The rates for operating tankers, which were slated for revision in January, are yet to be revised, they said.

According to the association, the rates fixed to operate a daily trip of 9 kilolitre capacity at Rs. 305 and Rs. 240 for 6 kl tankers were not sufficient.

The dearth of resources in reservoirs has increased the dependence on tanker supply this summer. Nearly 2,400 tanker trips are operated across the city daily to provide street supply. Tankers are also sought after by several apartment complexes. Lorry operators have a contract with the water agency for three years.

P.S. Sundaram, association president, said that the fuel cost was hiked several times in the past one year and the cost of spare parts of vehicles went up by at least 20 per cent.

At the present rate, lorry operators suffered a loss of Rs. 50-Rs. 70 per trip. The association had decided to seek a higher rate to run the tankers, he added.

Members also complained that they were frequently asked to go to different areas. This added to their expenditure. They were also unable to meet the growing demand. As the number of trips operated for street supply had increased, tankers take two hours to complete a trip.

A hike in the rate corresponding to the increase in fuel cost was among the demands raised at a meeting organised by the association on Friday.

Sources in Metrowater said a decision on the issue would be taken this week after a meeting with association membe

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