Chennai city may be staring at a possible drinking water crisis with packaged drinking water manufacturers joining the private water tankers strike in the city. The strike is in opposition to the restrictions on drawing groundwater.
Private water tankers have been on strike since Monday against a court order that restricted extraction of groundwater in the city. According to a report, the Greater Tamil Nadu Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturers Association stated on Tuesday that around 1,500 water packaging units in the state have been shut since Tuesday, of which around 450 were in Chennai. The association also said that if the government order that prohibited extraction of ground water was implemented, it would affect three-fourths of the total number of packaging units, which would lead to an increase in the prices of drinking water in the city.
The issue began last week when revenue officials closed down borewells in the city and banned private water tankers from drawing ground water in an attempt to implement the Madras High Court order. The court reportedly stated that those extracting ground water illegally will be punished for theft. The court segregated groundwater blocks into four categories and banned water extraction from over-exploited blocks.
The sudden move by the manufacturers of packaged drinking water has left many in the outskirts of Chennai shocked since a majority of the establishments and residents there depend on bubbletop water cans for their drinking water needs. Some hotels were shut for a sometime on Tuesday due to water shortage sparked by the strike.
On Monday, Chennai Metro Water had announced that it would supply water for essential purposes in apartment complexes and commercial establishments like companies and hotels along the Old Mahabalipuram Road. Municipal Administration and Rural Development minister SP Velumani also instructed the officials to spearhead efforts to tide over the crisis by planning the supply of water to those who are likely to be affected.