HYDERABAD: DAYS after deciding to hike the rates of water supplied by tankers, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) has now decided to do away with free supply of water by tankers in the twin cities with immediate effect.
The board runs between 1,500 to 1,800 free water tankers each day to different parts of the city, particularly to areas without piped water connections. The board has said all this will stop with immediate effect. Instructions were issued by the board for discontinuation of the renewal of existing free trip tankers.
Board officials claim that the free supply of water by tankers does not serve any purpose as the water board supplies adequate quantities of drinking water to every part of the city.
Virtually all of Greater Hyderabad has been covered with adequate distribution pipelines and pipelines have been laid to areas not served so far in the last few years, it says. It argues, the HMWS&SB is providing a tap connection at just `1 to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families as per the instructions of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
Further, there have been complaints from city residents about unauthorised diversion of water tankers to areas other than those designated. Officials blame this on a few drivers who connive with commercial establishments. Despite the board’s claim, people in several city slums still rely on water supplied by tankers every three to four days.
City slum-dwellers to hit by water board’s move
Despite the board’s claims, many slums, even today, lack access to public taps and rely on water supplied by tankers every few days. Under these circumstances, slum-dwellers will have to buy water by tankers, something many of them can ill-afford to do, activists point out.