Sudden Increase In Water Tanker Prices Leaves Chennai Residents In Dismay
Days after the northeast monsoon set in Tamil Nadu, Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board has decided to increase the price of water in the city. This decision was taken without any public announcement, which came as a shock to the consumers when they received a higher bill amount than usual.
In the water shortage stricken city, a tanker with a capacity of 9,000 litres has hiked from Rs 700 to Rs 735. However, officials stated that the 5 per cent rise is a regular revision and termed it a ‘marginal’ one.
Speaking to The News Minute, a Chennai Metrowater official said that circulars to this effect have been issued to area engineers independently and no central direction has been given across the department. “This is a regular fortnightly price rise; it’s very marginal. They have not increased in between (the summer and now). It is linked to petrol prices. Any decrease in petrol price will also reflect.”
Amid the drought-like situation during the summer, the parched city witnessed a strike by lorry drivers bringing the city to a standstill. Residents of villages in and around Chennai had opposed to lorry drivers fetching water from their wells for a cost.
“The water tankers had raised a concern during the peak drought period that they could not operate at a fixed price. We had promised to arrive at a method for this. It was to be calculated factoring in the per trip transporting cost, according to fuel consumption and the fluctuation in fuel prices,” said the official, adding that this was a temporary hike.
With the northeast monsoon approaching, the Cholavaram and Chembarambakkam reservoirs in Chennai, which went dry during the summer months, were refilled with the rains earlier this week. In addition to this, Andhra Pradesh released water from an overflowing Krishna river on September 25 under the Telugu Ganga project, which reached Poondi reservoir by September 30.
Chennai has no perennial river which can supply water throughout the year. With groundwater being coloured and contaminated, the public is mostly dependent on water supplied through metro water or private tankers. The water rage in Chennai has become a daily affair for the citizens, as they struggle to obtain water. The fight for water often affected law and order in the city with residents struggling to get access to the resource.
The sudden hike in metro water prices adds to the existing inconvenience and difficulties of the residents in Chennai, as the major reservoirs that supply drinking water also reduce alarmingly.