As the summer sets in and the demand for water rises in the City, there are serious concerns about the quality of water being supplied by private firms through tankers.
Surprisingly, government agencies say they do not monitor the source and quality of water, and passed the buck.
Water is especially scarce in areas where the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) does not supply Cauvery water.
Areas once part of erstwhile City Municipal Councils (CMCs) and Town Municipal Councils (TMCs) such as Yelahanka, Bannerghatta Road, Magadi Road, parts of Peenya, Tumkur Road, Kanakapura Road and 110 villages do not get Cauvery water.
People have to depend on private water tankers or sink borewells. Private supplies claim they supply Cauvery water.
But people complain that despite paying huge sums of money, the water they get is of bad quality. It’s hard water (having high mineral content) and has foul odour. Thus, it has to be treated before use.
Government agencies supposedly responsible for monitoring the quality of water simply passed the buck. Sources in the BWSSB said the board had written to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) urging it to check the water quality.
It is the Palike which issues trade licences to private suppliers and hence should check the source and quality of water. But nothing has been done till date, the sources stressed.
But BBMP health officials said it was not their job. “Suppliers are issued certificates by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board. Most of them provide water drawn from borewells on the outskirts,” they said.
“We do not fix the price or check the quality. It comes under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, and the health and family welfare department should look into it.”
Officials in the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Service insisted it is the BBMP’s job. “We just provide our laboratories for testing. But the testing and quality check should be monitored by the Palike. So far no organisation has done any testing.”
Interestingly, at a recent meeting to assess health issues and the summer preparedness, the BWSSB reportedly reminded the Palike that it was its job to check the water quality.
The BWSSB said it had 78 tankers supplying Cauvery water while the BBMP maintained there were 70 authorised private suppliers.