Karnataka Govt Attempts to Solve Bengaluru’s Water Crisis, Mandates Registration of Water Tankers – News18

Reported By: Rohini Swamy

Last Updated: February 28, 2024, 22:45 IST

The government action comes in the wake of water tanker prices crossing Rs 3000 mark per tanker. (File photo)

Sintex tanks will be filled with water by these tankers so that people can access water at regular periods and not wait for the tankers to arrive each time

The Karnataka government is invoking disaster management rules to ensure that private water tankers fulfill the water requirements of the worst-affected 110 wards in Bengaluru. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board have made it mandatory for all water tankers to be registered between March 1 to 7 so that it can fix prices for every water tank load.

The government action comes in the wake of water tanker prices crossing Rs 3000 mark per tanker for the first time in the city as depleting groundwater levels have led to a crisis situation.

According to the transport department, there are 3500 water tankers operating in the city. If these tankers do not register on the online platform, the authorities will seize the vehicles and will used them to supply of water free of cost in 110 villages that are suffering from the dry spell.

“Following several complaints of the skyrocketing prices for water tanker over the last 15 days, we have decided to regulate the industry,” Tushar Girinath, BBMP’s chief commissioner has said.

The officials of BBMP and BWSSB said that after invoking the disaster management act, the city civic bodies will commandeer 200 private tankers to provide free water to the water-parched areas. One hundred tankers will service the 110 villages in Bengaluru urban while another 100 tankers will be used to provide water to the City Municipal council and Taluka Municipal council areas which were added to the BBMP in 2007.

Sintex tanks will be filled with water by these tankers so that people can access water at regular periods and not wait for the tankers to arrive each time, they said.

Another step that is also being taken is to ensure that an Assistant Engineer level officer, one from BBMP and the other from BWSSB, will be appointed as ‘water officers’ in these 110 wards. Their numbers will be displayed on the website for people to reach out to them in case of any crisis, Girinath added.

Deputy CM and Bengaluru Development Minister DK Shivakumar had told the legislative Assembly two weeks ago that 25 percent of the city’s water needs are met by the water tankers.

BBMP and the BWSSB will be holding a meeting over the next two days with all water tanker operators to decide on a mechanism to fix prices for each water tanker.

“We will ask them to submit their costs while we are calculating the same based on market intelligence. Any deviation from this price fixed will be penalized,” Girinath said.