Scarcity & Rationing of Water! Water Tanker Owners Ripping Off Citizens Charging Extra
Mangaluru: Instead of taking pity and supplying water at reasonable rates to the people who are under the spell of water shortage due low level of water at Thumbe Dam, and due to water rationing implemented by Mangaluru City Corporation, the local private water tanker owners have been taking advantage of this water crisis by charging city residents, way more than they usually charged earlier, depending on the quantity of water required by them. Although I have been helpful in supplying water to two of my nearby neighbours from our well through pump/water pipes, but few other neighbors where I couldn’t help them out, since the length of the water pipe was little short, landed up in paying big bucks to the private water tanker owners to supply them water. In spite of them complaining about the outrageous prices charged for the water supply to the concerned authorities, no one has bothered to take any action.
With MCC supplying water to residents every other day, and when people are facing one of the worst times trying to get some drinking water, and these greedy private water tanker owners charging exorbitant prices is not right- and the district authorities or MCC officials should look into this matter and take action. As the city is expected to reel under a water crisis in the days ahead, prices of private water tankers carrying both, potable and non-potable water to thousands of households, hotels and hospitals, are also estimated to rise sharply. Currently, a private tanker carrying 10,000 litres of water costs over Rs 1000 and even more. Proprietors of water tanker agencies across the city say this could go up by 30%, which means it could cost much extra. If there are no heavy showers in the nearest future, consumers will suffer a major setback.
Hundreds of private water tankers with a capacity of between 5000-10,000 litres each ply in the city daily, making an average of five trips to supply water to apartments, hotels, hospitals and housing societies. Sources reveal that the price rise is a result of the nexus between private well owners and private tanker proprietors. Very often, non-potable water is sold to caterers and households under the guise of potable drinking water. It is essential for the civic body to acquire control even over the privately owned wells in the city to control costs. Many residents are a worried lot, because with such a steep increase in cost, they will have to worry about effective storage and maintenance of water. They believe that high costs will also give rise to illegal storage of water.
In the meantime, water scarcity has hit villages in Dakshina Kannada with the government supplying water through tankers to people in the jurisdiction of 15 gram panchayats in Mangaluru and Bantwal taluks. At the Thumbe Vented Dam nearly 20 water tankers were doing a total of 48 trips in those villages daily to supply drinking water. In addition, water in tankers is being supplied in the jurisdiction of five urban local bodies as well. Water is being supplied in tankers in 13 gram panchayats in Mangaluru taluk, which are Kandavara, Ganjimutt, Konaje, Manjanady, Harekala, Belma, Talapady, Kuppepadavu, Chelyar, Iruvail, Pavoor, Amblamogaru and Nellikaru.
In Bantwal taluk, water is being supplied through tankers in Naringana and Balepuni villages. In addition, people under Sangabettu, Arala and Meremajalu gram panchayats too are facing water scarcity. If needed, water will be supplied to them through tankers, and it is learnt that water in tankers will be supplied in four urban local bodies as well. They are Mulky, Kotekar, Puttur and Moodbidri. In all, eight tankers are operating 49 trips daily. Even, Mangaluru City Corporation is not an exception. Water is supplied in tankers in eight wards in the last two days. In all, eight tankers are operating 25 trips daily.
The government had through an order on February 2, 2019 declared all taluks in Dakshina Kannada — Mangaluru, Bantwal, Belthangady, Puttur and Sullia — as partially drought-hit in 2018-19. It is in view of a deficient South-East monsoon in 2018.
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