On April 26, large parts of the city had to go without water when a 700-mm pipeline burst at Sasthamangalam. The district administration and the city Corporation decided to press into service 45 tankers to supply drinking water to the affected areas.

The supply of water to private tankers from the facility of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) at Aruvikkara was suspended for some time that day when the private tanker operators reportedly refused to ply on KWA duty, preferring instead to provide water to ‘bulk customers.’ Finally, the District Collector warned the tanker operators that if they did not report at Aruvikkara within 25 minutes, the tankers would be seized by the police. For the tanker operators who make a killing buying water cheap from the KWA and selling it for many times that amount, days such as April 26 should be occasions to display a modicum of social responsibility, those in the KWA feel.

G. Mahadevan