Over 1,700 packaged drinking water firms in Tamil Nadu are on strike against the Madras High Court directive to take action against unlicensed units and illegal extraction of water.

Packaged drinking water in demand as strike enters fourth day in TNImage for Representation
news Strike Sunday, March 01, 2020 - 10:19

As the indefinite strike announced by packaged drinking water firms in Tamil Nadu enters its fourth day on Sunday, no respite seems to be in the offing with Tamil Nadu Municipal Administration Minister SP Velumani asserting that the State would follow the Madras High Court directive in the matter on Saturday. People across the state are facing difficulties as the supply of packaged drinking water has started to dwindle. 

Over 1,700 packaged drinking water firms in Tamil Nadu announced an indefinite strike on Thursday against the Madras High Court directive to the State to take action against unlicensed units and illegal extraction of water. The striking firms had highlighted the need for no objection certificates (NOC) needed to extract groundwater.

Tamil Nadu Municipal Administration Minister SP Velumani on Saturday said the State government would follow the Madras High Court order with regard to the indefinite strike by packaged and can drinking water units.

Speaking to reporters in Coimbatore, Minister Velumani said the court had directed the government to take action against illegal units and also those drawing water illegally and that the government would follow the court directive.

According to a report in Times of India, panic-buying has set in with distributors and retailers hiking prices of water cans. With fresh stock expected to come in only when the strike ends, the limited availability of cans has made procurement challenging.

According to reports, 1,612 units around Tamil Nadu were in possession of requisite licences while only 600 of these had no objection certificates from the Water Resources Department.

The Central Ground Water Authority revised guidelines in 2014 to regulate groundwater extraction in the country. The Greater Tamil Nadu Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturers’ Association has said that while they await no objection certificates from the government, they are only drawing limited quantities of water. According to The Hindu, the state, on average, sells around 25 crore litres of drinking water.

(With inputs from PTI)

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