Tanker owners say they travel over 15 km one way to fetch water, making price limit rules redundant

Deputy Commissioner Bengaluru Urban Dayananda K.A. explained that beyond 10 km was not stipulated by the administration as Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) request is limited to 10 km

Updated - March 12, 2024 02:44 pm IST

Published - March 07, 2024 10:44 pm IST - Bengaluru

A private tanker selling water for a nominal rate at Hesargatta main road in Bengaluru.

A private tanker selling water for a nominal rate at Hesargatta main road in Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: File photo

Water tanker owners have termed the price cap decided by the city administration as “unscientific” and “divorced from ground reality”. 

The main complaint of the tanker owners is that the government has not prescribed a price cap for trips where the distance between the water source and the destination is beyond 10 km. Several owners say that most tankers are sourcing water beyond 10 km. Thus, the price cap instituted now is unfeasible, they argue. 

“Most tankers travel over 15 km between the source and the destination. So this order does not make any sense,” said Shashikumar, president, Bommanahalli Water Tankers’ Association. 

Another water tanker dealer, Praveen Reddy from Doddanekkundi, said he travelled 20 km one way to fetch water, some 11 km beyond Varthur, as all borewells nearby have gone dry. “The site of commercial exploration of water, which was earlier near Varthur, has now moved far beyond it. One trip from our office to the source and the destination covers over 40 km. Our costs for one such trip add up to ₹1,900. Any price cap below that will not work. And the government fixing the price cap only for trips less than 10 km is meaningless and completely divorced from ground reality,” he said. 

Madhu, tanker owner, said the price cap is unfeasible even for shorter trips. “As most borewells have dried up in the city limits, borewell owners charge more for every load extracted. For instance, at a source just 1 km away from our office, they charge ₹1,000 for a 12,000-litre load to be extracted from the borewell. The government order caps the maximum price at ₹1,000 for this trip,” he said. 

Will resolve issue soon

Deputy Commissioner Bengaluru Urban Dayananda K.A. talking to The Hindu explained that beyond 10 km was not stipulated by the administration as the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) request was limited to 10 km. “After the request, I discussed the issue with the technical advisory committee. Based on the suggestion of the expert panel, the price was fixed. If the BWSSB puts forth another proposal for more than 10 km, the district administration will act upon it,” he said. 

“We will put up a proposal to the Deputy Commissioner seeking directions on the price cap and mechanism to decide if the distance between the source of water and the customer is more than 10 km. We will resolve this issue soon,” said Ram Prasath Manohar, BWSSB chairman. 

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