Summer soars and so does water tanker price

The sudden demand means that there is no guarantee of the quality of water

With summer peaking in Bengaluru, water tankers are touching new heights every day, price-wise. Each tanker now costs anywhere between Rs 500-900 for supplying 6,000 litres of water. The charges depend on the proximity as well as the locality.

While Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) supplies piped water to 7.4 lakh houses by pumping 1,440 MLD of water from Cauvery, it is insufficient in the areas which receive Cauvery water and hence, residents are dependent on water tankers.

On the other hand, around 110 villages in the periphery of the city, which are yet to receive Cauvery water connection, are either dependent on borewell water or water tankers. But with borewells drying up in many parts due to low water tables, the latter is the only option left to help meet the daily water requirement.

Despite being an expensive affair, there is still no guarantee of the quality of water supplied through the tankers. Though there are around 1,200 tankers in the city, only 200 have obtained trade licenses from Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). There was also an old proposal to check the water quality, which has not been practised yet. There was also a proposal to draw the price list for water tankers, which was never implemented.

“Even after paying a hefty price, we don’t get a water tanker according to our time of requirement. As water dried up during the day, I called up the water tanker hoping that my sump will be filled up by evening.


I called up the tanker hoping that my sump will be filled up by evening. I was shocked to hear that I need to wait for several hours or sometimes, a day or two

– Sandeep R, a resident of Whitefield

But I was shocked to hear that I need to wait for several hours or sometimes, a day or two, for the water supply. This is a clear indication of harsh days ahead,” Sandeep R, a resident of Whitefield, said.

However, water tanker operators have a different story to narrate. “The prices have increased as we have seen a huge spike in diesel prices. Added to this, the electricity bills have also gone up and we are charged more at the borewell point. Since many borewells are drying up, there has been a huge demand for tankers. We need to wait for hours to get the water tanker filled up and as we have too many people to cater to, there is an obvious delay in supply of water,” said a water tanker driver.

BWSSB claims that due to good rainfall last year, there is no shortage of water from the reservoirs. According to BWSSB officials, there is 23.23 TMC storage of water in KRS and 9.15 TMC in Kabini. As Bengaluru requires 1.6 TMC of water every month, it would require close to five TMC for summer months and that amount of water is available in the reservoirs. The Cauvery fifth phase, which draws 775 MLD of water to supply 110 villages, is likely to be completed in 2023-24.

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Sagar Biswas

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