Water supply through tankers to be hit as operators plan stir from today

The Hindu Bureau

The operators are mainly protesting against delay at filling points in Area 9 and Area 1 that cover localities such as T. Nagar, Mylapore, R.A. Puram, Nungambakkam, Kodambakkam and Tiruvottiyur; nearly 45 water lorries may be off the road

Water supply through tankers to be hit as operators plan stir from today

Tanker operators complain that it takes up to 45 days to settle bills in some offices of the water board. B. Jothi Ramalingam B. Jothi Ramalingam

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Thursday, 1st June 2023
Page No. 3
Chennai Print Edition

Water supply through lorries may be severely affected in southern parts of the city and in some northern areas as tanker operators attached to Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) have decided to go on a strike from Thursday (June 1).

Citing various reasons, including delay at filling points at Area 9, Metrowater Tanker Lorry Contractors Association has announced that lorries in Area 9 (Teynampet) and Area 1 (Tiruvottiyur) covering localities such as T. Nagar, Mylapore, R.A. Puram, Nungambakkam, Kodambakkam and Tiruvottiyur will not operate from Thursday. Nearly 45 lorries in these zones will be off the road.

Association president P.S. Sundaram said lorries had to wait for long at Valluvar Kottam filling station. Of the 16 filling points, only five were operated for nearly two months and tanker operators were finding it difficult to make six or seven trips allotted for each lorry in the zone.

Moreover, the filling points near MLA Hostel remained closed for over two years citing lack of manpower.

If the filling station is reopened, about 70-80 trips in Triplicane and surrounding areas could be operated seamlessly, saving time and fuel. In Tiruvottiyur zone, tankers covered long distance beyond 15 km. But the operators were paid low rates for additional kilometres.

The association wanted the average number of trips to be worked out for the 475 lorries that were operating on contract basis. While some lorries made 15 trips in some zones, tankers in other zones operated an average of 6 or 7 trips daily.

Lorry operators complained of mismatch of trip details in computerised system and the logbook. This often led to providing street supply in different locations and GPS tracked lorries are blocked from trips despite not being at fault. Such issues must be sorted out at area level instead of head office as this led to delay in operation for nearly a month.

Association secretary S. Kesavaram said it took 45 days for bills to be settled. The board must settle bills through electronic clearing system. These issues had not been sorted out despite several representations to the officials. If the issues in the two zones remained unsolved, all lorries in 15 zones would stay off the road in the coming days, the association said.

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