Amid Water Shortage In Bengaluru, Karnataka’s Latest Move To Manage Crisis

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Amid Water Shortage In Bengaluru, Karnataka's Latest Move To Manage Crisis

Around 4,000 private tankers are operating in the city. (Representational)

Bengaluru:

Drought in parts of Karnataka has created a water crisis in Bengaluru and areas near the capital city. Residents in the city have been urged to use water judiciously and the Karnataka government has decided to take over private water tankers to manage the crisis.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar said the state government will take control of private tankers, borewells and irrigation wells. “To streamline this water crisis, I am just trying to take over. We will see that there will be an equal share of everything and ensure they will not exploit the situation,” Mr Shivakumar said. The Deputy Chief Minister said the government will consider introducing a standard price.

The acute shortage of water and increasing demand led to the price of water tankers soaring in the city. The state government said the aim is to ensure water isn’t just a luxury for the rich who can afford it.

Earlier, the cost of a 5,000-litre water tanker stood at Rs 500 in the city but after the crisis, the price shot up to Rs 2,000. Around 4,000 private tankers are operating in the city. Out of 14,000 borewells approximately 7,000 have dried up leading to a 50 per cent shortage in supply.

“We pay three times the price for one load of water through tankers. When we pay Rs 2,000, they arrive soon. When we negotiate to Rs 1,500, we need to wait 3-4 days. The problem is only worsening,” Navya, a Bengaluru resident told NDTV. 

Yesterday, the Deputy Chief Minister warned the water tanker owners in the state that the government would seize their tankers if they didn’t register with the authorities before the deadline of March 7.

“Of the total 3,500 water tankers in Bengaluru city, only 10 per cent i.e 219 tankers, have registered with the authorities. The government will seize them if they don’t register before the deadline,” Mr Shivakumar said. 

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, “Around Rs 854 crore have been issued to district officials and another Rs 70 crore for borewells.”

According to Mr Siddaramaiah, 223 out of 236 Taluks of Karnataka are reeling under drought among them, 219 are badly affected. 

The Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for the Vrishabhavati Lift Irrigation Project in the Nelamangala and said the project would permanently solve the water problems faced by the people of Bengaluru City, the surrounding rural areas, and the Tumkur districts.

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