April 24, 2024

BENGALURU EXPRESS

Truth Triumphs

Government to seize water tankers that don’t register: D K Shivakumar

Bengaluru, Mar 04: Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar today warned the water tanker owners that the Government would seize their tankers if they do not register with the authorities before the deadline of March 7.

Addressing a press conference, at the BBMP head office, on the looming water crisis in Bengaluru, he said, “Of the total 3,500 water tankers in Bengaluru city, only 10%, that is 219 tankers, have registered with the authorities. The government will seize them if they don’t register before the deadline.”

“Water is not the property of any individual but is a resource that belongs to the government. The government has the right to take control of water sources. The BWSSB officials have been instructed to be prepared to supply water from areas where ground water is abundant. The BWSSB is using 210 tankers to supply water already. Election code of conduct will not come in the way of supplying water,” he said.

The private water tankers are charging anywhere between Rs 500 to Rs 2000 per tanker. We will talk to the Association and fix a standard price, he said.

Rs 556 crore allocated for drinking water
“A total of Rs 556 crore has been earmarked to address water crisis in Bengaluru. Each MLA of Bengaluru city has been given Rs 10 crore to address water shortage in their respective constituency. Besides, BBMP has earmarked Rs 148 crores and BWSSB Rs 128 crores to address the issue,” he said.

Mr Shivakumar said that the government had decided to open BBMP helplines and ward wise grievance centres to address complaints regarding water shortage in the city. A war room has been set up to monitor the situation in real time. “Senior officials and I will personally monitor the situation on a daily basis. It is the responsibility of the government to provide drinking water to the citizens. There is no need to be worried,” he added.

Borewells in the City
“Of the 16,781 borewells in our records, 6,997 borewells have dried up. The remaining 7,784 borewells are operational. The government will be drilling new borewells. There is a slight difference of pricing between local vendors and Tamil Nadu vendors and it will be sorted out soon,” he noted.

Milk Tankers to be used to ferry water
The officials have been instructed to deploy unused milk tankers for water supply. The KMF milk tankers will be cleaned up before being deployed for water supply in Bengaluru. These tankers will be used for water supply until the water shortage persists, he said.

The officials have also been instructed to immediately operationalise all the drinking water centres which were not operational till now. The Bescom officials have been told to register all the borewells in use for agriculture and commercial use.

Stating that Bengaluru city was going through a serious water crisis, Mr Shivakumar urged the general public to use water judiciously. “Don’t use drinking water for gardens and car wash. Treated water may be used for other purposes,” he added.

Asked about prices of water tankers, he said, “We have called for a meeting of private water tanker owners on March 7 and we will fix a price there.”

Asked if there was a delay in Cauvery 5th stage, he said, “There is an issue with a stretch of 2 km due to forest land and a huge stone. It is being resolved and drinking water will be supplied by May end.”

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