Ready to purchase water from KWA, say tanker operators

Administration asked to ensure reasonable rates to meet the increased demand

Water transporters in the city have said that they were ready to purchase water from the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) once the district administration gives an assurance that their daily requirement will be met at reasonable rates.

“The administration should ensure that no special sanction will be issued to draw water from select wells in Ernakulam, while imposing curbs on some other water sources. We are ready to take water from pumping stations under KWA if these demands are met,” said R. Ramachandran, general secretary of Ernakulam District Drinking Water Transporters Association.

“With 250 tankers at work in the district, we supply an average of 2,500 loads daily. The KWA’s station at Aluva was not in a position to meet even 25% of this requirement. Moreover, the authority is charging ₹60 for 1,000 litres of water. It’s uneconomical for us, as the maximum rate that we earn per 1,000 litres is only ₹51,” he said.

The suggestion from water transporters came a day after the Aluva municipality requested the police to initiate action against two tankers found drawing water from a well located at a pay- and-park facility near Karothukuzhi Junction. This source figured among the 15 wells in the region on which the civic body had imposed curbs following indiscriminate drawing of water by tanker operators.

High-power motors

The police found that tanker lorry operators were using high-power motors to fill up lorries fast, considering the increase in demand from users. Tanker lorry operators used to provide a share of the fee earned from each water load to the owner of the private land in which the well is located.

Officials of the Aluva municipality said that tanker operators favoured drawing water from private wells as there was no check in the quantity of water drawn from these sources. They preferred private sources even though adequate water was available for supply from the Kerala Water Authority’s water purification plant in Aluva at reasonable rates, they said.

Lissy Abraham, chairperson of Aluva municipality, said that they had received complaints from residents that water availability in their wells had reduced considerably following the unchecked drawing of water from the 15 wells.

Blaming operators for not abiding by rules, Ms. Abraham said the district administration had asked water transporters to submit a no-objection certificate from the Groundwater Department for drawing water from the 15 wells. “Nobody has submitted it till date. They have also not submitted the results of water quality tests yet,” she alleged.

Mr. Ramachandran said that their applications for getting no-objection certificates were pending before the Groundwater Department. “Water quality test results are available in each tanker lorry,” he said.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 3:17:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/ready-to-purchase-water-from-kwa-say-tanker-operators/article26747983.ece

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