Pune: Due to the water crisis looming over Pune city, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has cut down the water supply of the city, but the water tanker operators are looking at these water crisis as an opportunity to extort money from citizens. Taking cognizance of the complaints, the civic administration has given helpline number where citizens can complain against water tanker operators who are extracting exorbitant amount from citizens.
There is still no rain in and around Pune, particularly in the catchment areas of Khadakwasala, Warasgaon, Panshet and Temghar dams, which provide water to PMC. As less than 1.90 TMC water left in these dams, the civic administration had to impose water cuts and from June 28, city has started receiving water only once a day.
The areas like Bavdhan, Wadgaon Sheri, Aundh, Kalyaninagar and Vimannagar are some of the areas where water tankers operate. The tankers which PMC provides through private operators charge Rs500 for per tanker. But citizens of various areas have claimed that some of the tanker operators have started charging in the range of Rs1,200 to Rs1,500 for tanker ever since the water cuts have been imposed.
Sandip Kulkarni, a resident of Vimannagar area said, “ We call water tanker during week end. Till last week, the tanker would charge us Rs700 but ever since PMC has imposed water cuts, the tanker charges have gone up to Rs1,200. Since we have no option we have to pay the amount to get water.”
The residents claimed that the civic administration should step in and control the water tanker operators. Rajesh Sharma, residents of Koregaon park area said, “ If it does not rain now, the demand for water will increase and the transporters will also increase their charges. This is the time when civic administration should start taking action against water tanker operators.”
When asked VG Kulkarni, head of water department of PMC, he said, “We have announced water complaint helpline where citizens can register complaints but citizens are not coming forward to file complaints.”