Taps run dry: Pune residents decry inflated charge of water tankers - Hindustan Times
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Taps run dry: Pune residents decry inflated charge of water tankers

BySiddharth Gadkari
Apr 07, 2024 06:32 AM IST

Residents in Pune are facing exorbitant charges from private water tanker operators due to acute water shortage. PMC provides free tankers, but some operators demand money. Residents urged to report such incidents to PMC.

As the city is facing an acute shortage of water supply, tanker operators are taking disadvantage of the situation by demanding higher charges from residents. Many people have complained to Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) about the excessive rates charged by private water tanker operators.

In the outskirts of Pune, areas like Sus Road, Hadapsar, Wagholi, Undri, Vimanagar, and Lohegaon the residents are asked to pay around <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>300 to <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>400. In the city area, they charge around <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>100 to <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>200. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)
In the outskirts of Pune, areas like Sus Road, Hadapsar, Wagholi, Undri, Vimanagar, and Lohegaon the residents are asked to pay around 300 to 400. In the city area, they charge around 100 to 200. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)

Residents allege operators are also demanding money for PMC’s free water tanker service.

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Vijay Sagar, of Grahak Panchayat, who has complained to the PMC said, that residents are unaware that the tankers are provided by the PMC and as a result operators are taking undue advantage of the situation.

“In the outskirts of Pune, areas like Sus Road, Hadapsar, Wagholi, Undri, Vimanagar, and Lohegaon the residents are asked to pay around 300 to 400. In the city area, they charge around 100 to 200,” said Sagar.

“In the outskirts, most of the tankers are operated by private parties and they charge exorbitantly. The supply from the PMC is not enough to fulfil the requirement,” he said.

Raj Gujar, resident of Undri, said, the area has been facing water shortage for a long time and after the summer season started the tanker charges have increased exorbitantly.

“The normal tanker water which costs around 800 is a mix of portable and borewell water. Earlier, the portable water per tanker cost around 1,200 to 1,400 and now the same tanker cost around 1,800 to 2,000. The tanker operators have started charging in the range of 1,200 to 2,500 for tankers ever since the summer has started,” he said

According to Shahaji Lonkar, president of Vishal Vihana Society, “We require approximately 75 tankers per month, out of which only fifteen are provided free of charge. The rest have to be paid for, adding an additional financial burden on us.”

Satish Shirwale, resident of Keshavnagar, highlights the dire situation faced by settlements and societies due to inadequate water supply.

“Despite the PMC’s provision of free water through tankers, many areas are left without access to this vital resource,” he said.

According to Nandkishor Jagtap, chief superintendent of water supply department said, PMC is providing tankers to areas facing water scarcity, both in newly included villages and old neighbourhoods. These tankers are offered completely free of charge to assist communities in need.

“However, we came to know from residents that some tanker drivers are unlawfully demanding money for their services,” he said.

He further said that in response to this issue, people are urged not to give any money to tanker drivers or related individuals under any circumstances.

“If anyone encounters such demands, note down the tanker number, the name of the person making the demand, your name and address, and contact details. Report this information along with any evidence to the PMC’s toll-free number 18001030222 or via WhatsApp at mobile number 8888251001. Alternatively, you can use the PMC CARE App to file a complaint along with relevant photos and proof,” said Jagtap.

According to Prasana Joshi, executive engineer of water supply department, after appeal to register demand for money for PMC free tanker, PMC has so far not received any complaints so far.

“We maintain the record of free PMC tankers at every tanker point; there are nine tanker points in the city located in various areas. PMC has 200 tankers including contractor water tankers. Each has 10,000 litre of capacity. One tanker makes five to six trips a day,” said Joshi.

A senior official mentioned that many people prefer to use PMC tankers because they pay property tax, and it’s the PMC’s responsibility to supply water.

“During high demand, tanker prices increase, especially in summer. PMC sells 10,000-liter water for 666, while water suppliers sell them for 1,500 to 1,700,” he said.

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