With the municipal water supply on alternate days and the falling groundwater levels, residents are turning more and more to supply by tankers. The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation has been supplying water through its “Dial-a-tanker” service from its Town Service Reservoir. A 5,000-litre tanker of water is supplied at Rs.350.
However, there are complaints about the inordinate delay in the sending the tanker after it is requisitioned. There is more demand from Sitammadhara, Doctors' Colony, MVP Colony and Pandurangapuram comprising Block VI for the supply by tankers.
“With municipal supply not adequate and bore wells drying up, we are dependent upon tankers. However, municipal tankers are taking a waiting period of 10 to 12 days,” says V. Krishna Murthy, a resident of Pandurangapuram. Private tankers are supplying within 24 to 30 hours of calling them but are charging between Rs.800 and Rs.850, he says. If the municipality increases the number of tankers thereby reducing the waiting period, it will ease the problem, he suggests.
“With the problem becoming acute, we are forced to increase the frequency of getting supply by tankers,” complains Radha, a housewife living in the same area. Earlier she used to get a tanker per week. Now two tankers are required pushing the bill for the month to Rs.6,000. If the problem gets worse, she has to shell down more money.
The GVMC officials, however, deny that the waiting period is as long as 10 days. “That was the case when we had only two tankers. Now the total number has been increased to six. They are making roughly 70 trips a day mostly to Block VI,” says N. Prasada Rao, Assistant Engineer, Water Supply. Now, the situation has changed and the supply is being ensured in three days, he asserts. But the residents hotly contest it. For instance, for a booking on April 8, the delivery is scheduled for April 20th.
He maintains that it is difficult to get more tankers for a period of two months.
GVMC also supplies water to private sellers at the rate Rs.40 per 1 kl. They carry it by tanks mounted on autos and sell it.