A section of water tanker operators (Bangalore East Water Tanker Association), that supplies water mainly along the Outer Ring Road in the eastern periphery of Bengaluru, has called a strike triggering panic among many residents of the area.
The water tankers have announced the strike after the tahsildar of Hoskote taluk banned the drawing of water from borewells that run on electricity. These borewells are the main sources of water for these tanker operators. However, the rampant exploitation of water in the recent past has left the area dry, forcing the tehsildar to take action.
The water tanker association has asked that the ban be lifted. Starting from March 16, the water suppliers have said they will stop supplying water till March 20.
With their own bore wells dry and no centralised water supply, many upscale apartment buildings are solely dependent on water tankers for their daily water needs. Some tech parks and other big offices depend on these water suppliers.
For the past few days already, many households in Tubarahalli, Siddapura and other areas have been facing water scarcity.
In a statement, the tanker association which claims to have 250 tanker members, said, “The water supply to the apartments, hospitals, IT-BT offices (Information and BioTechnology) would be affected at Varthur, Hagadur, Bellandur, Doddanekundi wards from Monday onwards as we are facing the ban on getting the water. So the tankers will stop the service, and the government should look into the issue to avoid inconvenience.”
After the residents of these areas approached the authorities, it has been decided that Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) will supply water provided the residents arrange for the water tankers for transportation.
Taking advantage of the situation, other water tanker operators who source water from elsewhere, have hiked their prices to Rs 2,000 compared to the usual rate of Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,500.
Sonali Singh, a resident of Bellandur, complained that the residents are left at the mercy of the water tanker mafia due to the inefficiency of BWSSB.
“BWSSB should have made adequate water supply provision in this area by now, especially since the government gets the highest tax remittances from Mahadevpura constituency. Most apartments are completely dependent on tankers for water supply,” she said.