Tanker mafia coffers swell as groundwater dries up

Residents say no other option thanks to acute water scarcity
Last Updated 18 March 2019, 19:14 IST

Cashing in on acute water scarcity, unauthorised private tankers supplying water to residential areas in Mahadevapura, East Bengaluru, have adopted a new method to boost the illegal trade.

Apart from the borewells dug up everywhere that deplete groundwater, they are now setting up temporary tanks to store water.

As many as three temporary storage tanks have been dug in Ramagondanahalli near Whitefield by illegal water traders.

The storage tanks can hold at least 30,000 litres of water easily. Each of them can fill six to eight tankers at the same time.

One of the tanks is along the Borewell Link Road in Ramagondanahalli. While most of the residents are planning to stage a protest against the menace, others said they were getting water to their houses only through these tankers. This has triggered a major debate among them.

‘Tankers are saviours’

“Digging up unauthorised tanks is not good. But where else do we get the water from?” asked Senthil Kumar from Whitefield.
“If the government supplies sufficient water to every house, there is no need for private tankers. Now, these private tankers are the saviors,” he added.

Kavan Kumar, another resident, said: “Many states including Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have ran out of groundwater as the aquifers have dried up. Our city will soon face this. BWSSB should supply piped water to every house.”

Local Corporator S Uday Kumar said he was trying to curb the exploitation by water tankers in the area.

“After Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike made trade licenses compulsory, notices were issued to about 50 water tankers,” the corporator said.

(Published 18 March 2019, 19:03 IST)

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