Special Correspondent

Corpn. providing water in lorries to residential areas

COIMBATORE: The Coimbatore Corporation will take stringent action against drivers of lorries if they sold in black the drinking water being supplied in these vehicles to residents by the civic body.

Sounding this warning at the Corporation Council meeting on Tuesday, Commissioner Anshul Mishra said he had carried out surprise checks earlier and a fine of Rs.50,000 had been collected for the irregularity.

The Corporation was providing water in lorries to residential areas that did not have pipelines. This system would be withdrawn once all the areas in the city were provided supply lines. Some layouts approved over the last one year through a regularisation scheme were to be provided with the lines. Till then, they had to depend on supply by lorries.

Councillors made charges of irregularities by drivers of the lorries when a proposal to extend the contract period for lorry supply was placed in the Council for its approval.

Communist Party of India member R. Kalyanasundaram told Mayor R. Venkatachalam and the Commissioner that while his party did not oppose the contract, the system certainly needed to be monitored closely. If there was no vigil, there was the risk of drinking water meant for the deficit areas being sold by the drivers, he said.

Uniform colour

Responding with the promise of action, the Commissioner said that if some officials were found to be involved in the black marketing of water, they would also face punishment.

As part of the close monitoring, the water supply lorries owned by the Corporation and those hired would have a uniform colour. This was a condition being introduced now in the tender.

The councillors also called for steps to ensure that there was no rust inside the water tanks. Congress Floor Leader in the Council R.S. Thirumugam appealed to the Corporation officials to ensure that the interior all the water tanks in the lorries were epicoated. Otherwise, the concept of protected water would be negated.

The Commissioner said mandatory protective coating would be a condition in the tender from this year. Checks would be carried out to see if the coating was provided, he said.