DJB's inability to cope with the demand, specially during summers, and the shortage of tankers has resulted in several consumers buying costly water from private suppliers.
Consumers pay approximately Rs. 2,000 for a 5,000-litre tanker and Rs. 3,000-3,500 for a 12,000-litre tanker.
"Most plush hotels and hospitals go for bigger tankers that have a capacity of 24,000 litres and are priced at Rs. 4,000," said a private water tanker supplier.
And the reason why most consumers are forced to turn to private tankers is that the number of DJB tanker is inadequate to cater to Delhi's huge population. The water utility has just about 1,000-odd of its own and hired tankers.
Private tanker suppliers get water from places as far away as Ghaziabad. "The consumer pays for additional transportation cost and taxes," said the supplier.
A person known to be aware of the dealings of the private tanker business claimed, "We deliver on time and hence people prefer us. There is no tanker mafia as people like to believe."
Asked yet another supplier, "Why shouldn't private tanker suppliers be regulated and provided water by DJB at Rs. 60 per kilo litre? This will ultimately benefit the end user."
However, DJB seems to be in no mood to do that. "We will regulate only those areas which are water-deficient. We don't see why we should regulate private suppliers? If people are ready to pay for commercial usage, let them," said a DJB official.
DJB has been trying to tender and get adequate numbers of tankers so that there is no shortage. But for nearly five years, it has not found any suitable service provider.
"Supplying water is a social issue. The process has not yielded any provider with satisfactorily efficient performance level delivery considering the city's social profile," he said.