HYDERABAD: Summer is just setting in Hyderabad and the IT corridor appears to be already reeling under water crisis. A huge number of IT companies and residential gated communities that have mushroomed around Hitec City, financial district and other places are largely dependent on private water tankers in summers and it has come to light that most of them have been receiving water drawn illegally. Ending this illegal activity is likely to throw the consumers — mainly IT companies and gated communities -- out of gear.
Rangareddy district administration has so far identified 24 borewells around Kondapur, Gachibowli, Raidurgam, Khajaguda, Serilingampally and Miyapur areas that have been drawing water illegally. The authorities have now threatened to demolish all such borewells. So the question arises: how will the water needs of IT corridor be met in case of sudden stoppage of all the existing water resources, albeit they are illegal?
Private tankers jack up prices
Meanwhile, sensing the huge demand for water ‘meant for general purpose’, the private water tankers rawtes have been jacked up by 20 per cent this summer. At present, consumers who are buying water from these private tanker operators are spending `4,000 per 24,000-litre tanker and `2,000 for a 10,000-litre tanker. For a 5,000- litre tanker, the revised price is `1,000.
Though ‘private purpose’ was cited as the reason for digging these borewells, they are being illegally used for commercial purpose, officials have told Express. The illegal water trade continues to thrive in the IT corridor with commercial agencies of private water tenders consuming large quantities of ground water from the domestic borewells in residential areas.
The residents fear that if the trend continues, the borewells in their areas could dry up soon. “Depending on the demand, we supply water three-four times a day. These are all 24,000-litre tankers. In summers, we operate day and night for IT companies,” said a water tanker supplier to IT companies. With a huge demand for private water tankers, IT companies depend on private tenders during summer.
“Several private tenders of water tanker are making agreements with the landowners of open plots. They take the land on rent, dig a borewell and extract water. The tankers carry no name of any supplying agency. Some suppliers operate in the late evening hours,” a resident near Malkacheruvu at Raidurgam said, adding that a mobile water tanker was being filled with water from the domestic borewell.
As per the Water, Air, Land and Trees Act (WALTA), commercialisation of borewells in residential areas is prohibited.
Speaking to Express, Rangareddy district deputy collector S Tirupathi Rao said, “We have stopped issuing permissions for digging borewells for domestic and commercial needs. We have identified 24 illegal borewells in the IT corridor and surrounding places and a special team of four officers are on the job to identify other illegal borewells.
Meanwhile, HMWS&SB managing director Dana Kishore said that efforts are on to regulate the private water tankers. “We will ensure the private tankers take water from HMWS&SB , which is river water sourced, and not draw water from the ground,” he said. “The water board supplies water to over 40,000 commercial connections in IT corridor. The present supply of water may not be sufficient. Our three new reservoirs are coming up in IT corridor. Once the works are completed, there is no need for private tankers,” he added.