According to Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (Metrowater) data, the number of trips made by the Metrowater tankers on Saturday is much lower than the number of trips made on the same day last year.
“Tanker lorry water supply would be higher when groundwater level declines and water pressure in our pipelines is low due to scarcity of water in lakes. This year, the city has groundwater at a decent depth and our lakes have more water,” an official said.
On Saturday, the Metrowater had supplied water to slums and other dead-end areas using 1,423 tanker lorries, each with 9,000-litre capacity, whereas the water manager had operated 2,080 trips of 9,000-litre tankers the previous year. Metrowater supplies lorry water to such areas free of cost.
At the same time, the Metrowater operated 1,329 mini tanker lorries on the day against 1,776 trips during the previous year. In 2019, when the city witnessed one of its worst droughts, most parts of the city were forced to depend on tanker lorry supply by February.
Apart from the free supply, supply on a payment basis has also decreased. As per the data, Metrowater operated 1,165 trips of 9,000-litre lorries on a payment basis on Saturday against the 1,337 trips the previous year. Against 118 trips of 16,000-litre lorries on April 3, 2020, only 65 trips were made on Saturday.
“Commercial establishments and residents of apartments, where piped water supply is yet to be achieved, are still buying lorry water. In 2019, almost everyone depended on lorry water as bore wells too went bone dry,” the official added.
The water managers are optimistic that the present scenario will continue till the onset of northeast Monsoon as the five city lakes have storage of more than 9,000 mcft.