Private water tanker business thrives in City

Thousands of tankers registered, but only about 50 owners have trade licences

Private water tanker business thrives in City

The Transport department has registered thousands of private water tankers in their records, but only a handful actually possess the trade licence to carry out the water supply business. 

A Transport department official said they have more than thousand vehicles which are registered as tankers at various RTOs in the City.

But an official from the BBMP Health department said they have issued not more than 50 trade licences to water tanker owners to run their business.

The huge difference in numbers show that private water tanker  business has been thriving with no monitoring by government agencies.

The legislations enacted by the government for regulation of groundwater use do not allow sinking of borewells in notified areas.However, the government agencies appear to have turned a blind eye to the mushrooming water tanker business.

The government had included Bangalore District under the notified areas due to depleted groundwater levels.

As per Karnataka Ground Water (Regulation & Control of Development & Management) Act, 2011, and the rules framed in 2012, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is the ‘groundwater authority’ to ensure that all borewells are registered. BWSSB also has the authority to permit sinking of any new borewells and check exploitation.

BWSSB Engineer-in-Chief T Venkataraju said they have to check whether a borewell is registered and whether necessary permits had been obtained before sinking a borewell.

The board cannot check on the business activity as the BBMP is the authority which issues trade licences to water tankers, he added.  

Venkataraju said they had received a couple of complaints from the public from Indiranagar, BEML and other places where the BWSSB has warned water tanker businessmen to stop commercial exploitation of groundwater. “Unless the public come forward, it is not possible to monitor on its own,” he added. 

A BBMP official said unless residents lodge complaints, it is difficult for Palike officials to monitor such activities on their own.

On Vibgyor premises

Recently, Vibgyor High school in Marathahalli, which was in the news, had water tanker business activity on the school premises.

Many parents had complained about this, as strangers entered the school compound when children were around. When a BWSSB official inspected the place, he found the borewell was neither registered nor the owner had a trade licence to run it.

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