Chennai

Water tanker owners plan agitation

Stepping up pressure: Water tanker owners say their contract expired in August last year.   | Photo Credit: K_Pichumani

The Chennai Metrowater Tanker Lorry Contractors’ Association has proposed to go on strike from January 25, seeking the pending work order to be issued and an increase in rates.

At present, nearly 650 tankers are operated, including those on payment. However, the quantum of water supply through tankers has reduced in the past few months. Of 830 million litres of water supplied daily in the city, nearly 32 mld is supplied through tankers, including to added areas.

The association said the tanker owners had been plying on extension since August last year.

Association president P.S. Sundaram said tenders were called in August last to hire tankers for water supply.

However, lorry owners were still waiting for fresh work orders. “In 2017, we had agreed to the low rates due to competition from a higher number of lorries. We continued to operate during the drought and the pandemic despite the loss and the completion of the three-year contract period,” he said.

The association had represented to the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board seeking work orders to be issued immediately. Association secretary S. Kesavaram said: “The water board must allow us to ply for new rates fixed at ₹450 for a 6,000 litre capacity vehicle and ₹555 for a 9,000 litre vehicle and ₹685 for a 16,000 litre vehicle.”

Lorry owners had purchased about 60 new vehicles as per the norms and were facing steep losses in the absence of a new work order, he added.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 3:50:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/owners-of-water-tankers-plan-strike-from-january-25/article33639363.ece

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