As private water tanker operators continue their strike, Chennai Metrowater has pitched in by allowing lorries hired by consumers to draw water from its distribution stations.
Consumers across the city, particularly in western parts of the city, have been struggling to get their daily supply of water for the past five days ever since private water tanker operators struck work on Tuesday protesting the restriction on groundwater drawal.
S. Murugan, a water lorry operator in Poonamallee, said, “About 600 lorries have not been plying in areas such as Avadi, Ambattur, Poonamallee and Madhavaram. The revenue authorities frequently seize lorries citing that we either transport water of poor quality or fine us and borewell owners for groundwater exploitation. We are holding talks with the mayor, revenue minister and government officials on Monday. The government can permit the drawing of groundwater like it does sand quarrying.”
Lorry operators say they are suffering a loss of Rs.3,000 for every lorry trip not made. Each lorry makes six or seven trips daily.
Chennai Metrowater already supplies water for payment through Metrowater-hired lorries. Water is supplied to residents at a rate of Rs. 400 for a load of 6,000 litres and Rs. 600 for 9,000 litres.
Commercial establishments have to pay Rs. 510 for 6,000 litres and Rs. 765 for 9,000 litres.
The water agency has now given harried residents the second option of receiving water through private tankers hired by consumers. The decision was taken partly due to the strike and partly due to the shortage of metrowater lorries plying in the city.
A press release said residents could engage tankers that could fill water at Metrowater distribution stations at a rate of Rs. 40 per kilolitre. Commercial establishments, private hospitals, hotels and education institutions could also avail of the service for Rs. 60 per 1,000 litres.
For details, contact: Kolathur – 26505435/8144930313; Kilpauk – 26441679/8144930362 and Valluvarkottam – 28341448/8144930356.