Water Marshals to Keep an Eye on Private Water Sellers

Bangalore City

BBMP has come up with a special squad named ‘Water Marshals’ to check on private water sellers in the city who indulge in unscrupulous practices.

By Virendra Singh

Bengaluru, April 8, 2019

BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) has come up with its new drive to keep an eye on the illegal water suppliers in the city. There are several private water sellers in Bengaluru that supply water and charge the people above the fixed rate allocated by the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB).

Some 110 impoverished villages that come within BBMP zone will get free  water from BBMP. Recently, the BBMP has received multiple complaints regarding heavy prices demanded by the sellers. To keep an eye on such sellers BBMP has formed a squad of 11 members termed ‘water marshals’. The latter will keep a lookout for who these sellers are. These officials would take complaints regarding private sellers. Strict action would be taken once the complaint has been registered.

A senior official of BBMP explained, “During the summer season, we face a scarcity of water. BBMP and BWSSB have joined hands to ensure that the public receives undisrupted water supply. BWSSB is the authority responsible for supplying water to Bengaluru city and currently, the department has a total 268 water tankers.

A total of 198 wards in Bengaluru receive water supply from the BWSSB. However, the 110 villages which come under BBMP zone around the city lack adequate supply. As of now, the BWSSB has not installed a pipeline connection in these villages. It is expected to be completed by 2020.”

To meet the water scarcity problem in these villages, the BBMP has invited a tender involving 267 private tankers for a period of three months. Water suppliers will either supply water on their own accord or with assistance from the BWSSB. Rupees 540 has been fixed as the price for 6,000 liters of water by the requisite authority. The BWSSB has its own bore well and other resources that could be used for supplying water.

‘’We have been directed by the Election Commission to not dig bore wells or any other water resource until the completion of the election. We can subsequently create water sources when the requirement arises. Until then, we have to manage with tankers.

The BBMP has framed certain guidelines for tankers. Firstly, the tanker must be GPS enabled.  Also, the surface of tanker should be polished with a layer of coating to avoid corrosion.’’ said the official. Suppliers should have received a certificate from the BWSSB and they ought to show us this in order to ensure the quality of potable water. Each house should get 140 LPCD (Litre Per Capita Per Day) but BWSSB is unable to meet that requirement due to high demand throughout the city.

To facilitate development in each ward, Rs. 20 lakhs is being provided to all the 129 wards in core areas every year. For the remaining 69 wards, we have assigned Rs 40 lakh per year. The BBMP has invited the tender for four, six, eight and 12 thousand litres capacity vehicles respectively.”

One resident from Sarjapur remarked, “Private water suppliers demand unreasonable prices. After this step, both the BBMP as well as the BWSSB would be benefited’’.