Chennai

Packaged drinking water units sealed across Vellore

Officials disconnecting water supply line in a water purification plant in Kandipedu village, Katpadi on Monday.

Officials disconnecting water supply line in a water purification plant in Kandipedu village, Katpadi on Monday.   | Photo Credit: C. VENKATACHALAPATHY

Out of 40 units in six taluks, only three had proper permissions, PWD officials said

The Ground Water Division of Public Works Department (PWD) sealed as many as 37 drinking water packaging units and borewells across Vellore district during the two-day enforcement drive.

Popular names

‘Tidel Water Supply’ and ‘Aruvi’, popular names operating in Kandipedu village in Katpadi region, were among the units sealed by PWD and revenue officials on Monday.

Incidentally, ‘Aruvi’ is owned by relatives of DMK treasurer Duraimurugan.

PWD officials said among the 40 units functioning in six taluks in Vellore district, only three had proper orders and sanctions from the PWD and district administration.

Revenue officials sealed seven private water bottling plants in KV Kuppam and Katpadi regions on Monday. The team, headed by Katpadi Tahsildar, found the plants were functioning without licence.

Quoting the Madras High Court direction, the District Monitoring Committee of Vellore-PWD served notices on these water packaging units and slapped charges of illegal extraction of groundwater.

According to a Government Order issued by the PWD, no permission can be granted to private parties for groundwater extraction in areas classified as ‘A category blocks’. Sources with PWD said these regions were classified as critical and over-exploited areas and groundwater extraction could not be permitted at any point. And yet, the units were found indulging in the extraction.

An activist form Vaniyambadi said groundwater quality in the Palar river basin was poor, owing to low water flow. This in turn was because of the purification activities, being carried out for years now, and pollution from waste and sewage water.

Thrive on demand

These packaged water units thrive on demand from the huge population of Vellore, Tirupattur and Ranipet, he said. He added that the district administrations of Tirupattur, Vellore and Ranipet had to gain trust of people and assure them that water supplied through taps and public fountains could be used.

Meanwhile, the water packaging units are on strike for the past five days. The water supply in the Vellore Corporation limits could face a shortage problem as demand goes up, said R. Santhanam, a resident of Sathuvachari, Vellore.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 3:19:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/packaged-drinking-water-units-sealed-across-vellore/article30965850.ece

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