Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central, Noel O’Flynn, said he intends reporting at least one business for allegedly hiking the price of water containers since the civic emergency was declared on Friday.
He said he has been given one example where the price of a 20 litre water container jumped in price over the weekend from €13 to €30.
He also said several people have complained about being ripped-off while paying for bottled water.
“I don’t have direct evidence myself but I am going on what people on the ground, the people queuing for water, have been telling me,” he said.
Mr O’Flynn’s constituency is one of the city’s worst affected areas. Today will be its sixth day without water.
“In these times of crisis when communities must pull together and businesses must work with them, it is grossly irresponsible if it is proved that these businesses were charging over the odds for essential lifesaving products like water,” he said.
“I am going to report them to the director of consumer affairs.”
The city council is co-ordinating a massive logistical operation, involving council workers, the army, civil defence and gardaí, to distribute almost one million litres of fresh drinking water every day.
It is being drawn from Little Island and Inniscarra and transported in a fleet of 30, 6,000 litre tankers supplied by Dairygold and Kerry Co-Op.
They are involved in a constant relay to ensure a continual supply of water to the public at nine public water supply points.
Meanwhile, city manager Joe Gavin has dismissed suggestions that the city council consider subsidising drinking water during the civic emergency. The call came from Socialist Party Cllr Mick Barry who urged Mr Gavin to follow Galway City Council’s initiative during its cryptosporodium crisis. The council agreed to help pay for the cost of bottled water for residents in affected areas.
But Mr Gavin pointed out that the crisis in Galway ran for several weeks.
He said he is confident Cork’s problem will not take that long to resolve.