During summer, water tanker rates soar along with the temperature in the city. But this year, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) are looking to fix tariffs to put an end to tanker owners fleecing residents. Heads of the BWSSB and the BBMP held a meeting on Saturday to address the issue and introduce tariffs for the first time in the city. The move comes in the wake of the BWSSB receiving many complaints about private water tanker suppliers charging exorbitant rates.
BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad told that the rates will be fixed within a day or two. He said the price will be similar to what the BWSSB charges for its tankers. The BWSSB has asked the BBMP to fix charges since the latter issues trade licences to tankers.
A BWSSB water tanker with 16,000 litres costs Rs 540. But private suppliers are allegedly charging three to four times that price. In places like Magadi Road, the same volume of water costs Rs 2,500, while in Whitefield it costs around Rs 1700-2000. In areas around Central Silk Board, the price is said to be around Rs 1500. BWSSB Chairman Tushar Girinath said the board was pumping 1,420 mld of water daily to 545 sq km of the city besides supplying water through 68 tankers in 39 subdivisions for free. If people are being asked to pay up, they should inform the board, he said. At the meeting, BWSSB and BBMP officials also decided to check the source of water used by private tankers.
Tankers are using residential water borewells to supply water to commercial places at higher rates, Girinath said. Citizens said that even after water rationing, water was costly in the summer. “We need three tankers a day to meet the water demand in our apartment. We are charged Rs 2,500 per tanker and the supply is irrregular. But if the rates are fixed, then it will be a breather,” said Ajith B, a resident of Magadi Road.