Bengaluru

Whose ‘water ATM’ is it anyway?

Good intention:‘Water ATMs’ were established with the aim of providing safe drinking water at subsidised rates to those who do not have access to it.— photo: v. sreenivasa murthy  

A 20-litre can of drinking water delivered to your doorstep: Rs. 25 to Rs. 30. The same can with similar (or better) quality of water, minus the home delivery: Rs. 5, or even less.

‘Water ATMs’ , which are slowly making their presence felt across the city, were established with the intention of providing safe drinking water at subsidised rates to those who do not have access to it. Sellers of canned drinking water were not exactly the intended beneficiaries. Residents of some areas, however, are complaining about vendors filling cans at the drinking water kiosks and selling them at a higher cost to customers.

“They come in autorickshaws with empty cans. If we could afford to buy those cans of drinking water from shops, would we be dependent on the water ATM?” asked Nagaraj, a resident of Ashoknagar, where there is one kiosk. Mr. Nagaraj travels half a km daily to fill one can of water, which lasts his family a day.

“We used to get Cauvery water before, but very little. I stay on the first floor of a rented house. The sump is dirty, so we prefer the water from the ATM for drinking and cooking purposes,” he said.

An official at the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) office in Ashoknagar, which houses the water kiosk, shrugged when asked if something can be done to ensure that the kiosk is not misused by sellers of canned drinking water.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 7:24:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/whose-water-atm-is-it-anyway/article8605175.ece

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