Tankers continue to draw water from wells

Operators show scant regard for directive to collect drinking water from KWA sources alone

Water tankers supplying drinking water in Ernakulam continued to draw water from wells despite a directive from the district administration that water should be drawn only from the hydrants and supply points of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA).

This came to light after KWA officials reported that only two tankers (that were earlier drawing water from private wells) had collected water from the major supply points of the authority at Aluva and Maradu on Thursday.

The filling stations at Aluva and Maradu have the capacity to provide up to 2.5 million litres of water daily. Around 250 water tankers supply water in Ernakulam as per records available with the Regional Transport Office at Kakkanad. According to the Ernakulam District Drinking Water Transporters Welfare Association, nearly 400 private tankers supply water across the district.

Water tanker operators informed users in the morning that they would ensure regular supply, saying that the district administration had extended the deadline for collecting water from KWA sources till January 10. An apartment owner at Thripunithura said residents had received the usual supply of five loads drawn from a private well near Ambalamugal on Thursday. “The tanker operator told us that the district administration had given an extension of 15 days for collecting water from private wells,” he said.

However, Deputy Collector S. Shajahan clarified that the administration had not extended the deadline. “We had only agreed to extend the time for registering water tankers with the Regional Transport Office till January 10 following a request from tanker operators at a meeting on Wednesday,” he said.

Asked whether action would be taken against operators who collected water from private wells, Mr. Shajahan said it could not be done in haste as such a move might hamper the distribution process. Tanker operators had suggested that they be allowed to draw water from the facilities at Travancore Cochin Chemicals at Eloor and Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd at Ambalamugal. “We will issue letters to the companies requesting their cooperation,” he said.

On complaints from operators that the filling points of the KWA at Aluva and Maradu lacked parking space, officials said up to 20 tankers could be parked at a time at Aluva (four filling points). It may take 10 to 15 minutes to fill up a tanker having a capacity of 10,000 litres. The supply point at Maradu also has adequate parking space, they added.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 7:10:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/tankers-continue-to-draw-water-from-wells/article30465148.ece

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