Metrowater to hire 100 more lorries to tackle supply delays

Operating hours, filling points increased to manage water crisis

As the city reels under a water crisis, the dependence on tanker supply is on the rise. To tackle complaints of undue delay in delivery of tanker loads of water, Chennai Metrowater plans to divert supply to affected areas and hire additional lorries to meet the growing demand.

Residents of various areas, including Triplicane, Choolaimedu and Adyar, complain that it takes nearly 20 days for a tanker load to arrive after booking. Water supplied by Metrowater either through pipeline or tanker on payment is the only source now as the groundwater level has dipped considerably, said residents of Triplicane.

With the four reservoirs going nearly dry, ‘dial for water service’ is receiving more calls daily. In the past month, the number of lorry trips operated daily has escalated, touching 7,071 as on Wednesday, which is 500 more trips compared to February. Of this, nearly 2,600 lorry trips are being operated for payment.

Illegal trips

Residents of Lake Area, Nungambakkam also alleged that lorries, which were not in contract with Metrowater, continued to be used with just part of the name blacked out and often indulged in illegal transfer of water filled from Metrowater distribution points to private tankers. Metrowater had earlier curtailed supply to commercial establishments owing to the water crisis.

Though the work order was cancelled, some of these lorries parked along Prakasam Road and Kodambakkam High Road continue to operate illegal trips, they alleged.

Responding to the residents’ complaints, Metrowater officials said measures are being taken to hire 100 more lorries. “We have also warned lorry owners who are not on Metrowater contract and asked them to replace drivers to prevent malpractices,” an official said.

Besides increasing operating hours of lorries and the number of filling points, the agency would also deploy officers to monitor the global positioning equipment fitted in lorries and track them.

“We are also diverting lorries to areas where there is more demand to reduce delay in delivery. An additional volume of 15 million litres a day (mld) would be distributed to localities like R.A.Puram, Triplicane and Mylapore where there is less water supply,” an official said.

About 1,800 tanks would be installed on streets that do not have adequate water supply. Metrowater would maintain supply at 550 mld till April with the available resources, including quarries in Sikkarayapuram.

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Printable version | May 21, 2020 11:24:39 PM |

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