The plan to go on strike was shelved after the Tamil Nadu Water Lorry Owners’ Association had discussions with the officials late on Sunday.

Private water tankers in Chennai drop plans to go on indefinite strikeImage for representation/PTI
news Water Crisis Monday, July 08, 2019 - 09:04

In a relief to Chennai residents, the private water tankers who had announced an indefinite strike from Monday dropped the plan after authorities intervened. The plan to go on strike was shelved after the Tamil Nadu Water Lorry Owners’ Association had discussions with the officials late on Sunday, as per reports.

The water tankers’ association had announced its decision to go on an indefinite strike after around 40 water tankers were allegedly seized in Parivakkam village in Tiruvallur district after the villagers claimed that they were exploiting groundwater. However, the strike has been called off after the government reportedly promised to help the tankers source water in the coming days.

Chennai, which is struggling to cope with the severe water crisis in the city, gets its water from Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB). This summer, as CMWSSB is trying hard to cater to the heavy demand for water across the city, the private water tankers have come to the rescue of Chennai’s water-starved citizens. Around 5,000 private water tankers ply in the city, supplying water to its residents.

These lorries generally take water from private wells on the outskirts of the city and in the nearby districts of Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur. Earlier in June, the Madras High Court had reiterated that illegally taking groundwater from wells would be tantamount to theft. Recently, it also ordered the district collectors in Tamil Nadu to ensure that all private water tankers are registered with the district authorities.

This is not the first time that the private water tankers have called for a strike. In May, hours after announcing a strike hoping to meet the chief minister and placing their concerns on record, the association called it off. 

Recently, people from many villages in Tiruvallur district protested against private water tankers drilling bore wells in their villages and drawing water from them to be supplied to Chennai’s shopping malls. 

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