However, officials say that this a regular revision and will fluctuate according to fuel prices.

Chennai Metrowater hikes tanker price without any public announcement File Image/PTI
news Water Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 12:27

Days after the northeast monsoon set in across Tamil Nadu, Chennai Metrowater has decided to hike the price of water loads plied to the city. However, no public announcement was made in this regard, taking many consumers by surprise when they received a greater bill amount than usual. A tanker with a capacity of 9,000 litres has gone from Rs 700 to Rs 735. However, officials stated that the 5% rise is a regular revision and dubbed it a ‘marginal’ one. 

Speaking to TNM, 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.” 

During the drought-like situation in the summer months, the parched city witnessed a strike by lorry drivers, further putting the residents in limbo. Residents of villages in and around Chennai had objected to lorry drivers drawing water from their wells for a cost. 

“They (the water tankers) had raised a demand 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,” says the official, adding that this was not a permanent hike. “Any decrease in petrol price will also reflect,” said the official. 

With the northeast monsoon setting in, the Cholavaram and Chembarambakkam reservoirs, which went bone-dry during the summer months, were replenished with the rains earlier this week. In addition to this, Andhra Pradesh released water from a brimming Krishna river on September 25 under the Telugu Ganga project, which reached Poondi reservoir by September 30. As on October 19, the water level at Poondi reservoir stood at 1194 mcft (million cubic feet) against its full capacity of 3231 mcft. The levels at Redhills, Cholavaram and Chembarambakkam reservoirs stood at 309 mcft, 78 mcft and 22 mcft respectively.

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