Chennai: A day after metro water fixed the rates for water supplied by private tankers, South Chennai private water tanker lorry owners’ association said it would not be possible to supply the water at the cost fixed by the agency.
With severe water shortage facing the city, metro water on Tuesday announced a rate of Rs 1,200 for 12,000 litres and Rs 2,200 for 20,000 litres after holding a meeting with private water tankers. Association president N. Nijalingam said they would be able to supply 12,000 litres at Rs 2,000 and 20,000 litres at Rs 3,000.
“We cannot supply water at lesser cost as we are travelling up to Tiruporur on OMR to fetch water. We are paying Rs 250 per trip for toll,” he said. Metro water fixed the water charges without discussing with us, he said, adding that his association was the biggest one in the city with 1,200 lorries.
There are around 1,700 private water tankers with a capacity ranging from 9,000 litres to 30,000 litres supplying water to households, apartments, commercial buildings, IT companies, educational institutions, hotels and hospitals.
With inadequate water supply by metro water, many households, particularly apartments, are turning to the private water tankers to meet their daily requirements. The cost of water supplied by private tankers has gone up with depletion of groundwater sources near the city and travelling to longer distance for fetching water.
“We used to source water from places close to the city like Medavakkam and Pallikarani. After water table fell in these areas, we are travelling as far as Tiruporur, Ponmar and Mambakkam to fetch water,” he said, pointing out that increase in travel distance reduced the number of trips taken by lorries in a day. “Hence it is economically unviable for us to supply water at metro water fixed rates,”he said. P.S. Sundaram, president, Chennai Private Water Tankers Operators Association, welcomed metro water fixing the rates for water supplies.
“We are already supplying water at the cost fixed by metro water. But the price may go up slightly if delivery place is located far away,” he said. A 12,000 litre tanker load of water would cost Rs 1,200 in Anna Nagar, he said, adding that if the water has to supplied at Parry’s, it would cost a little more, Rs 1,300 to Rs 1,450 considering the distance.
A senior metro water official said that tanker owners who attended the meeting on Saturday agreed to supply water at the price fixed by us. “Considering the increased demand for water tankers, we have increased our lorry fleet strength to 530 and opened 25 new filling points. We also increased the working hours of filling points from 6 am to 10 pm to ensure increased tanker availability and reduction in waiting period,” the official said....