Consumers, particularly those in slums and tail-end areas, will be in for trouble with the water tanker owners deciding to observe bandh from Wednesday.

All the 674 water tankers working for the Water Board will be off the road from tomorrow. This follows the Board’s failure to consider the tanker owners’ demands which include enhancement of hire charges for both free trip and payment trip tankers. The HMWSSB Water Tanker Owners’ Joint Action Committee wants the Board to at least give it in writing that its demands were under consideration.

The JAC’s main demand is increase in the free trip charges from Rs. 200 to Rs. 240 and payment trip from Rs. 225 to Rs. 270 in view of the hike in diesel price. The JAC also wants the Board to enter into a formal agreement with the tanker owners and to withdraw the order for supply of payment trips only through Metro Call Centre bookings.

“Since the Board has not conceded any of our demands we are left with no option but to go on strike, said Mohd Imran Khan, advisor, JAC. However, D. Sunder Ram Reddy, director (Technical) Water Board, said it was wrong on the part of the tanker owners to go on strike when their demands were yet to be discussed with the managing director.