Peak season for tanker business

The price of private water supply varies wildly from one area to another
Last Updated 01 March 2019, 02:19 IST

Private water tankers are making a killing this season, charging more in areas with limited BWSSB water supply.

Metrolife called private water suppliers across the city, and found the rates varying widely from one area to another.

A water tanker with a capacity of 5,000 litres comes for between Rs 1,200 and Rs 1,500 in HSR Layout, and Rs 700 in Horamavu-Agara.

In the latter area, you can also get a smaller 4,000-litre tanker for Rs 400.

In Kalyan Nagar, a tanker with a capacity of 5,000 litres comes for Rs 550 while one with 7,000 litres is priced at Rs 650.

In Yeshwanthpur, you pay Rs 800 for a 6,500-litre tanker. A 5,000-litre tanker in Benson Town, in the Cantonment area, comes for Rs 800.

A private water supplier in Yeshwantpur told Metrolife: “Anybody with a borewell can supply water but it is hard for those of us who have to source water. We sometimes bring it from far-flung areas, so the pricing depends on all many factors.” Some tankers have a capacity of 6,500 litres but in reality, they don’t bring a full tank, he says.

The business is unregulated, and unlicensed. “If you have a borewell, all you need to do is buy a few trucks and hire drivers. You don’t require a licence,” says a supplier in HSR Layout.

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has a fleet of 68 water tankers that run only in the core areas and not in the 110 villages on the periphery of the city.

They charge Rs 540 for a tanker of 6,000 litres, and the rate is the same for all neighbourhoods. BWSSB tankers are in demand at marriage halls and venues hosting big events.

BWSSB Chairman Tushar Girinath says tankers are sent free of cost when the supply gets disrupted because of repair and maintenance. He says private suppliers might in some circumstances supply water cheaper than BWSSB. “We have noticed that some commercial establishments are augmenting our water supply with private water tankers because it reduces their overall expenditure. So rather than pay a higher tariff, they buy water from private suppliers,” he says.

In areas where BWSSB supply is uninterrupted, private suppliers offer a lower rate than BWSSB and do business, he says.

Water tanker rates

  • HSR Layout ~1,200 to ~1,500
  • Horamavu-Agara ~700
  • Benson Town ~800
  • Kalyan Nagar ~550(Capacity 5,000 litres)
  • BWSSB ~540 (Capacity 6,000 litres, all neighbourhoods)

Builders’ biz

BWSSB tankers are mostly used in the eastern and northern parts of the city, where construction activity is high.

(Published 28 February 2019, 12:57 IST)

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