Despite early monsoon, water tanker prices remain high in outer areas

Several residents told DH that this is primarily due to having no Cauvery water connections and their dependence on borewells that are yet to receive sufficient rainwater.
Last Updated : 23 June 2024, 00:43 IST

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Bengaluru: Despite the timely onset of the southwest monsoon, water levels in borewells across Bengaluru have not improved, say members of resident welfare associations and those living in apartment complexes in the city outskirts. 

As a result, there is a continued dependence on water tankers that charge prices above the government’s set limit, they say. 

While areas in the heart of the city such as Indiranagar, Shanthinagar, Jayanagar and Banashankari survived the crisis without major discrepancies during the summer, the situation in areas like Whitefield in the east and Kanakapura Road towards the south has not seen significant improvement in the availability of water or sufficient supply of water tankers. 

Several residents told DH that this is primarily due to having no Cauvery water connections and their dependence on borewells that are yet to receive sufficient rainwater. 

Murali Govindarajulu, a member of Whitefield Rising, said he continues to pay Rs 1,800 for a 1,200-litre tanker, nearly double the capped price of a 1,200 litre tanker by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). 

He attributed the lack of improvement in groundwater in their area to the ongoing rejuvenation of Varthur Lake.

He said, “The entire Whitefield lacks empty space for water percolation in order to see a significant improvement in groundwater table. Our borewells are still not completely back in shape and we continue to depend on private water tankers.” 

Shiva Nittal, president of the Sobha Forest View Apartment Association, off Kanakapura Road, said, “We are dependent on private tankers. Our apartment complex requires nearly 50 tankers per day. Despite the government capping the prices of private water tankers, we pay Rs 200 to Rs 500 more than the given price for immediate delivery. Because, if we do not pay, we will not have any potable water delivered for our daily usage.” 

However, the prices vary depending on the area and the distance of deliveries similar to how it was in the summer. A resident of Indra Towers in Kalyan Nagar said she pays Rs 1,200 for 7,000 litres and Rs 700 for 4,000 litres, which is still above the capped price. 

A water tanker owner in the Whitefield area, who sources water from Muthsandra, said he charges Rs 1,200 for 5,500 litres of water. According to him, the availability of water has improved but the cost is high due to transportation charges.

He said, “During the summer, we used to delay the deliveries due to unavailability of water and high demand from far away places. But now, the situation is better. The cost is high due to long-distance transportation.” 

While the Cauvery Phase V project is nearing completion, the BWSSB’s efforts to resolve the water crisis have hardly benefited residents in the peripheries of the city. 

A BWSSB executive engineer said that they continue to operate the syntax tanks and supply tankers to several areas for public usage in the outskirts. However, he admitted that tankers are not supplied to individual houses or apartment complexes by the BWSSB. 

DH earlier reported that while Cauvery Stage V requires at least 1 lakh connections to ensure the project’s viability, several residents avoided applying for the connection due to fear of delay. 

Price of water tankers capped by BWSSB Distance within 5 km  12000 litres: Rs 1000  6000 litres: Not more than Rs 600 Distance within 5-10 km  12000 litres: Rs 1200  6000 litres: Rs 750

Published 23 June 2024, 00:43 IST

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