Water woes: Bengalureans parched as tanker prices rise

Bangalore BBMP City

BWSSB has confirmed a five percent increase in the demand for water in Bengaluru during the summer season.

As the summer season is drawing near, certain areas in Bengaluru are experiencing a rise in water tanker prices due to the increased demand for water.

The soaring prices of water tankers are posing a challenge for households that rely on them, making it difficult for them to afford this essential commodity.

According to the report, during the summer season, the demand for water in Bengaluru rises by five per cent, which was also confirmed by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). Despite the addition of 59 villages under the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in 2007, these villages still struggling with water connections. Furthermore, Marthahalli, Sarjapura, K R Puram, Varthur, and several other regions are currently struggling with water scarcity.

Gotham M, a resident of Varthur, expressed his worries about the sudden increase in water tanker prices during the summer season. He says that due to the scarcity of water in his area, he has to order a tanker of 5000 litters from BWSSB every week, which costs him around Rs. 800 along with the additional expense of petrol. Being a middle-class individual, he says that he finds it challenging to afford such expenditures.

He added that the water supply in his area is yet to be connected to the Cauvery water supply system, which is why they heavily rely on water tankers, particularly during the summer season.

Ajender Singh, a resident of R.T Nagar said, “Last year, BWSSB charged Rs. 400 for a 5000-litre water tanker. However, now they are charging more than Rs. 900 along with petrol expenses, making it challenging for households to afford.”

He added that although his area has a Cauvery water connection, they receive water for only one hour per day. During summers when the demand for water increases, they are forced to order water tankers because they have no other choice.

Dilip Reddy, a resident of Marathahalli, recounted his experience of approaching BWSSB for a Cauvery water connection. He alleged that the officials asked him for a bribe, leaving him with no other option but to rely on water tankers. He said, “The skyrocketing prices of water tankers make it difficult for us to afford this option. Also, the delivery of water tankers is very slow, it takes around three days to receive the tanker after placing an order.”

The shortage of licensed water tankers is also a significant issue in Bengaluru, with only 200 out of 1200 tankers have a working license issued by the BBMP. This shortage leads to delays in the delivery of water by the tankers.

Dilip added that due to the slow delivery of water tankers, they have to rely on private suppliers who charge Rs. 2000 for a 5000-litre tanker to get the water supply quickly. This situation is extremely challenging for them as the cost of these tankers is exorbitant, says Dilip.

Naresh BK, an official from BWSSB said, “The demand for water increases by approximately five per cent during summers and the prices of water tankers have gone up due to the high demand. Prices of water tankers vary, depending on several factors including location and transportation costs.”

Anusha, an urban planner said, “The problem of water scarcity during summers is not a new issue in Bengaluru. Every year the demand for water increases during this season, but the government has not taken adequate measures to address the problem. As a result, the people of Bengaluru continue to suffer from the scarcity of water.”

She added that approximately 60 per cent of Bengaluru relies on groundwater, and many areas still lack proper connectivity to the Cauvery water supply. This situation makes it necessary for many households to solely depend on water tankers during summers when water usage is at its peak.