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Updated: May 25, 2013 01:19 IST

Packaged water for parched throats

S. Sandeep Kumar
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Water cans being filled with drinking water in Hyderabad.
The Hindu
Water cans being filled with drinking water in Hyderabad.

With the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) failing to meet the drinking water demand in the capital, many residents are forced to depend on packaged drinking water bottles to quench their thirst. And, their demand has shot up dizzyingly over the last couple of months.

In areas like Uppal, Secunderabad, Alwal, Dilsukhnagar, Malkajgiri and other areas, where water supply is erratic, packaged drinking water units make a roaring business. Cashing in on the demand, many unauthorised local packaged drinking water units are mushrooming in different residential colonies.

The fact that many flat owners in residential apartments tie-up with local packaged drinking units for supply of 20-litre water cans every alternate day, gives an indication of the demand in different colonies. Generally, a 20-litre local packaged drinking water can is sold for Rs.25 to Rs.30, depending on the area and residents are made to pay a deposit of Rs.150 per can.

“There is no option. Water is supplied once in three days and we are forced to depend on packaged drinking water cans, though it’s costly,” says Rajeshwar Reddy, a resident of Uppal.

Apart from residential apartments, packaged drinking water unit owners tie up with banks, malls and other commercial establishments to supply water at their door step. “Necessity and convenience are two key factors. People are happy when they get water at their doorstep and don’t mind shelling extra money,” says Ratnakar, owner of packaged drinking water unit.

“The demand has been rising every day. Daily we supply about 200 cans to residential apartments and commercial establishments in Kavadiguda alone,” he claims.

With the marriage season, the sales of these units have gone up considerably. A few function hall managements make their customers to purchase bottled water from select units to earn commission from the unit owners.

Given the demand, branded companies too are offering to supply 20 litre cans in colonies. A few have even set up exclusive stalls in several posh areas.

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