East Bengaluru taps go dry as tanker owners strike

East Bengaluru taps go dry as tanker owners strike

(Image by Carola68 from Pixabay)

A strike by the tankers’ association on Monday disrupted water supply to several areas in East Bengaluru as thousands of residents in Doddanekundi, Bellandur, Marathahalli and Whitefield were forced to make alternative arrangements by paying high prices.

Many pipes went dry after the Bengaluru East Private Water Suppliers’ Association began a silent protest against a clampdown by Hoskote tahsildar against the selling of borewell water by farmers in three gram panchayats. The association stopped the operation of over 600 tankers that supply water to eastern parts of the city. 

“The strike will continue until the tahsildar withdraws the order. Tanker operators with necessary permits should be allowed to operate borewells and their electrical connections should be restored,” said R V N Babu, president of the association.

The strike disrupted water supply to several areas where the supply of Cauvery water is irregular and inadequate. 

Members of Kadubeesanahalli Rising visited the office of the joint commissioner and handed over a memorandum seeking water. Many took to social media, demanding government intervention.

Some tanker owners who are not part of the association made hay by doubling the price.

“Many apartments are solely dependent on private water suppliers. Some operators are demanding Rs 2,000 for 12,000 litres of water and people have no other option but to pay up,” said Sudhanshu Mohanty, of Whitefield.

Apartments with 300-400 units consume 1 lakh to 1.5 lakh litres of water per day. Water consumption has further increased as many companies have told their staff to work from home and holidays have been declared to schools to check the outbreak of Covid-19.

Water politics

A leader in Muthsandra Gram Panchayat said politics was driving water wars.

“A former MLA has been targeting villages under the limits of our panchayat because we did not switch parties with him. Why would officials come in the middle of the night and remove electricity connections to borewells? It is true there is high commercialisation of water across Hoskote but why ban it only in our village? Let them ban it across the taluk,” he said. 

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