Maharashtra: Jalna Tanker Drivers Struggle With Erratic Work Hours Amid Rising Water Demand

Maharashtra: Jalna Tanker Drivers Struggle With Erratic Work Hours Amid Rising Water Demand

As on April 26, 148 villages and 55 hamlets in Jalna were dependent for water supply on 235 tankers

PTIUpdated: Monday, April 29, 2024, 02:58 PM IST
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Maharashtra: Jalna Tanker Drivers Struggle With Erratic Work Hours Amid Rising Water Demand | Anand Chaini

As several villages in Jalna district are dependent on water tankers for the daily supply amid high demand, these vehicle drivers say they have hectic work schedules, stretching even up to 20 hours in a day.

Power supply interruptions and long queues at the water tanker filling points have been leading to the erratic work hours, some of the drivers claimed.

Various parts of the district, located in the Marathwada region, have been facing water shortage due to inadequate rainfall in the last monsoon season.

As on April 26, 148 villages and 55 hamlets in Jalna were dependent for water supply on 235 tankers, according to a local revenue official.

Tankers at Banegaon on Jalna-Bhokardan road, located around 80 km from Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, are filled with water from a well under an irrigation project.

Banegaon is the nodal point for tankers to fill water for supply to Tupewadi, Dhamangaon, Tapovan, Garkheda and other areas in nearly 25 km of its periphery.

Sominath Rathod, who was waiting for his turn at the Banegaon refilling point, said they do not have any fixed work schedule.

"The duty time may range from eight to 20 hours sometimes. I have been doing this work for six months and never had a fixed work schedule. Interruptions in power supply and the tanker condition (repair and maintenance issues) decide our working time," he said.

Syed Habib, who was supposed to transport a water tanker to Dhamangaon village in Bhokardran taluka, said they have to ferry water two-three times every day to the specified villages.

"But there should be power supply at the filling point and the village where water has to be provided. If the power supply is off, we have to wait at these locations for long. We cannot leave the tanker and go home," he said.

"Sometimes we carry food, sometimes we don't as we are away from home," Habib said.

Issues like tyre puncture or tanker failure also require time for repairs, he added.

Driver Sudhakar Thombre, who transports water to Tupewadi village, said a tanker with a capacity of 10,000 liters needs about an hour to get filled and many times there is a long queue of vehicles at the filling point.

"The time to get the tanker to the water pipe depends on the number of vehicles in the queue," he said.

"If there is power supply and everything else in place, we return home by evening. But sometimes, we start early morning from home (for water supply work) and return the next day," Thombre said.

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