Private water tanker operators go on strike, only to call it off

Tamil Nadu Private Water Lorry Owners’ Association called off the indefinite strike that started on Wednesday, the same evening, following talks with officials of the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department.

Nearly 15,000 tankers stayed off the roads across the State seeking licence to operate and protesting against cases of theft being filed against lorry drivers and owners. In Chennai, lorries were stationed in various areas, including Pallikaranai, Ambattur and Poonamallee on Wednesday morning.

Members of the association met officials of Chennai Metrowater and MAWS Department to discuss their demands. S. Murugan, secretary of the association said “We were assured that private water suppliers in and around Chennai who have applied for licence to operate would be sanctioned permission in a few days. Fresh applications from those plying in Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts would also be approved in a short time.”

Moreover, similar applications in other parts of the State would also be processed and approved within a few weeks. So, it was decided to withdraw the strike, he added. About 4,500 lorries ply in and around the city and each of them now take up 3-4 trips daily.

Demand from individual houses have come down after the recent rain spell, noted members of the association. Private water suppliers primarily cater to apartment complexes, institutions and commercial establishments. IT firms and residential complexes, especially along the IT corridor, which are yet to have municipal water connections, rely largely on private water suppliers.

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