Tankers make off with last drop from village

Unauthorised water tanker enterprises are setting up large temporary tanks to store water in Ramagondanahalli.

BBMP has turned a blind eye to overexploitation of water in Ramagondanahalli village near the Varthur Lake, leaving the village parched. A valuable resource for the village during the summer months is now being depleted.

Tanker mafia is drawing whatever is left of the groundwater to quench the thirst of residential areas and corporate offices in Ramagondanahalli.

Over 200 tankers ferry water to various corporate offices in and around ITPL, Whitefield, Marathahalli and other neighbouring areas, the villagers say.

“We have seen acute water shortage for the past two years. We wrote to the BBMP and BWSSB recently. But they have not taken any action yet. The water the corporate offices receive will not be utilised for drinking but for other utilities, and people of my village do not have water to drink,” says Jagadish, a villager.

“Though the tankers charge hefty prices, we have no other option left but to buy paying Rs 750 to Rs 1,000. When we met the corporator recently, he said he will offer a tanker of water daily to the village. All of us have to go with buckets to fetch water for our homes,” adds Jagadish.

“Before the village came under BBMP jurisdiction, it was under the City Municipal Council (CMC). Then we used to get water from borewells for free. Now, the borewells have dried up. The supply of water from Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is just 10% of our requirement. The rest of the village is not able to afford even that,” says another villager. 

Amid several media reports highlighting the water crisis in Ramagondanahalli, a BBMP official said he was not aware of the situation and strict action will be taken against the violators if found guilty.

“Unauthorised tankers have reduced after the BBMP made trade licenses compulsory. If there are more unauthorised tankers at work, we will cancel their trade licences,” he said.

Despite several attempts, the local corporator Uday Kumar did not attend the call from DH.

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