Metrowater not tracking using GPS data
Two months since the Metrowater tankers were fitted with GPS, but the authorities haven’t started tracking the vehicles yet.
CHENNAI: It’s been two months since the Metrowater tankers were fitted with GPS, but the authorities haven’t started tracking the vehicles yet. Since the tankers were not being monitored, some Metrowater contractors are selling the water meant for free supply to private tankers.
One of the contractors from Central Chennai area said private tankers don’t usually operate during the day. In most places, Metrowater tankers supply water. However, in areas such as Ashok Nagar and Nungambakkam, private tankers wait near filling stations in the morning. A few Metrowater tankers, after filling water, come to a nearby lane, where the water is transferred to private tankers. “If GPS is used, such illegal movement can be avoided,” the contractor said.
The main reason for the illegal transfer of water is increase in demand and the low price offered by Metrowater. For example, price for a Metrowater tanker with 6,000 litre of water is Rs 475; for a tanker with 9,000 litres capacity, the rate is Rs 700 and for 16,000 litre capacity, the price is Rs 1,200. Private tankers that supply water, especially to the developed or added areas of the city, charge Rs 1,000 for 12,000 litre; Rs 2,000 for 24,000 litre and Rs 2,750 for 36,000 litre. Not many households have sumps to fill 12,000 litre of water. So private operators buy water in less quantity and supply to households for a higher price, the contractor said, requesting anonymity.
A senior Metrowater official admitted that the GPS data was not being used to monitor the movement of water tankers. However, the authorities are conducting surprise checks and penalties are being imposed on violators, he added.