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City stares at scarcity as packaged water suppliers too join strike
With the owners of private water tankers staying away from the roads for the second consecutive day against a court order banning the extraction of groundwater, manufacturers of packaged drinking water in the city also announced an indefinite strike on Tuesday. The strike of tanker lorries and packaged water manufacturers made Chennai and the State at risk of facing acute drinking water scarcity.
“We are facing similar issues that of owners of water tankers. We were not allowed to draw water from open wells and agricultural wells, as Revenue department officials started to implement the court order. We cannot draw groundwater. However, we would supply stored stock,” a manufacturer said.
In Chennai, over 4,000 private water tankers are off the road. “As Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts remain major sources of drinking water, such strike would lead to acute water shortage of drinking water cans in the suburban areas of the city,” R Manikandan, a member of South Chennai Private Water Tankers Association, said.
“Government is yet to call us for talks. The government would only yield to our demands only after the people come to streets,” he warned.
Meanwhile, Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) has made arrangements to manage the situation by allowing customers to get water from its filling stations. “Consumers such as commercial establishments, hospitals, educational institutions, IT companies and apartments can furnish requisition letter with advance payment for a week to draw 2 loads of water per day,” the CMWSSB said in a press release.
Consumers should get water from 10 pm to 5 am through their own or rented lorries. Consumers can get application form and indemnity bond from www.chennaimetrowater.tn.nic.in. “We are taking steps to alleviate drinking water scarcity due to packaged drinking water,” an official said.
It may be noted that the Madras High Court ordered banned groundwater exploitation in private lands.
Water, sewer connection applications go online
Getting water and sewage connection for new buildings is now just a click away, after the launch of the new online application system here on Tuesday. The new facility, which was announced in the State Assembly, was inaugurated by the Municipal Administration Minister SP Velumani.
“Hereafter, applications seeking new connections for buildings having two storeys or less can be sent through the new online facility,” said the statement from the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB). Till now, the public had to visit CMWSSB headquarters in Chintadripet to submit their applications. The officials at the head office would send the applications to concerned area offices for scrutiny.
Thereafter, it could take as much of 30 days to provide the connection. “Currently, we are receiving around 100 applications every day. The new facility will ease the process,” a Metro Water official added. The new online facility would also bring down the processing time apart from ensuring the effective tracking of applications.“The new system also has a facility for paying road cut charges to the Corporation. This will ensure getting speedy road cut approval,” said the statement.