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When thirst leads to thinner wallets

Water crisis in the city has led to increased maintenance costs and higher rent for some residents.
Last Updated 21 March 2024, 23:28 IST

Bengaluru: In addition to its various impacts, the water crisis in the city has led to increased maintenance costs and higher rent for some residents. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah revealed that out of 14,000 government borewells, nearly half, or 6,900, have dried up, leading affected residential societies to rely on water tankers for their daily water needs.

Residents of apartments across Bengaluru, whom DH spoke to, have felt the financial strain as owners required them to pay the bills for the water tankers. Uday Bhan, a working professional residing in BTM Layout, claimed his rent was increased by Rs 1,000—from Rs 9,000 to Rs 10,000—due to the ongoing crisis. “Since the borewell in our building has dried up, the owner has to call tankers every two days. He has temporarily increased the rent by 1k for all residents in the building,” he explained.

Despite the rent hike, Bhan stated that problems persist because residents store water, leading the tank to empty quickly and “forcing us to rely on the stored water” until the next tanker arrives two days later. While some residents face a temporary hike, others fear it could become permanent. An IT employee from Maruthi Nagar, preferring to remain anonymous, shared that his rent has been increased by Rs 1,500.

“I live in a 1BHK, and starting this month, my rent has gone up from Rs 13,000 to Rs 14,500 per month because of the crisis,” he mentioned. With no end to the crisis in sight, he is concerned that the hike might be permanent.

For Swathi P, a 26-year-old working professional, there has been no increase in rent, but she is responsible for the weekly tanker bill.

“My owner calls a tanker every week, and the residents have to pay the bill, around 2k. We have asked him to secure Cauvery water, but to no avail,” she said, adding that the tanker water is insufficient, compelling her to rely on friends’ places for daily necessities.

Moreover, several residents reported that water ATMs are not operating throughout the day due to the crisis. Anand, a resident of SG Palya, said, “Earlier, we used to get 20L of water for Rs 5, but now the ATMs work for only 2 hours in the morning and evening, forcing us to buy the same amount of water from a supermarket for Rs 40 to 60.”

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(Published 21 March 2024, 23:28 IST)

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