When every drop counts

Erratic water supply

When every drop counts

As Bengalureans gear up for a scorching summer, a major problem staring them in the face is the shortage of water. For most households that don’t have Cauvery water supply, water tankers  are the only solution but the arbitrary pricing by tanker operators has left a lot of people worried.

Some of the areas that regularly depend on water tankers are Thanisandra, Bommasandra, Sarjapur Road, Marathahalli, Whitefield, K R Puram, Horamavu and Bagalur.

The price of tankers with a capacity of 4,000 to 7,000 litres is anywhere betweenRs 400 to Rs 800 per tanker. Rashmi Murthy, a resident of Kothanur, says that she is forced to buy water at least three times a week.

“The water tankers don’t come as soon as I call them. So I have to make sure that I call them well in advance. Also, there is no fixed rate and we are forced to pay whatever rate they ask for,” says Rashmi.

Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has its own fleet of water tankers but their limited numbers make it difficult for them to reach every part of the city. This has contributed to the mushrooming of private tanker operators, which is an unregulated sector in the water supply chain.

Vrinda Neeshath, a resident of Horamavu, points out that the borewells in their area have run dry, thanks to increased construction. “Earlier, when we had corporation water, we had to pay Rs 200 per month but now that supply has stopped because the borewells have dried up,” informs Vrinda.

She says that the sump in her house can hold about 7000 litres of water. “We buy a tanker that has 7000 litres and the filling up of the sump is an indication that the suppliers have not cheated us in terms of quantity. However, while we used to pay Rs 500 per tanker earlier, suddenly the price has been hiked to Rs 600,” she informs.

She says that the water tanker supplier attributed the sudden increase in prices to water scarcity.

There’s a lot of construction in and around areas like Bommasandra. The residents here have to depend on water tankers and one of the first things that needs to be done is to prevent wastage of water from these tankers, says Prabhakar Rao, an IT consultant, who owns a studio apartment in this locality.

Prabhakar observes that water gets wasted from these tankers because of their damaged outlet valves. “One should check if the water is spilling from the top of a tanker that is filled to capacity. This is possible because the top is usually open, Secondly, I make sure that the water tanker is parked in an inclined position because this way the entire water from the tanker flows into the sump being filled,” says Prabhakar.

He adds that he has also installed a CCTV camera just above the sump which gives a clear indication of whether the water fills to the brim.

“I have also adopted water harvesting measures which help me save, store and reuse water that is collected during the monsoons. This reduces my dependency on water tankers during the rainy season,” he says.       

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