Water supply was affected in residential areas on the Old Mahabalipuram Road and IT parks in Siruseri after around 400 tanker lorries suspended operations on Tuesday.
Operators resorted to this step after facing resistance from residents of three villages near Chengalpattu Taluk while extracting water.
Residents of Sonallur, Vengadamangalam and Panankattupakkam, who are facing an acute water shortage, feel that giving away water would lead to a crisis. “Our wells are drying up and the rains have been sparse,” said a villager from Vengadamangalam, who did not wish to be quoted.
As soon as the news spread, local administrators got together and told the lorry owners that a decision would be taken on Wednesday morning after talking to the villagers.
“If the authorities don’t get back to us with a favourable decision, we will go on a full strike,” N. Nijalingam, president of South Chennai Private Water Tankers Operator Association, said.
“We spoke to the villagers and told them that they can first take the water they require and give us the remaining. But they did not agree,” he added.
K. Purushothaman, Regional Director – TN & Kerala, NASSCOM said, “Water crisis is a more serious issue than power. The government should look at a long-term solution for the industry to grow.” On an average, the IT industry would lose Rs. 100 crore a day if they have to close businesses in this region.
For several years, the tankers have been sourcing water from nearby villages to meet the needs of the OMR and nearby regions. Around 850 tankers (each containing 12,000 litres of water) work round the clock.