Pune’s Water Racket: Tanker Drivers Exploit Residents Amid Supply Shortages

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Pune, 6th April 2024: Many residents in Pune have been grappling with water shortages for months, exacerbating their struggles as tanker drivers exploit the situation by selling water at inflated rates. Despite the Pune municipal corporation’s responsibility to provide free water through tankers, drivers are allegedly extorting money from citizens. In response to mounting complaints, authorities have vowed to crack down on this illicit practice, offering a toll-free number for reporting such incidents.

The lack of oversight, compounded by the absence of a GPS system to track tanker movements, has enabled this exploitation to persist unchecked.

The Municipal Corporation supplies water through tankers to newly included villages and areas facing water scarcity within the city limits. However, residents have lamented the demand for money by tanker drivers, despite the service being provided free of charge. To address this, a dedicated telephone number has been established for reporting instances of extortion.

Residents encountering demands for payment from tanker drivers are encouraged to contact the Municipal Corporation via the toll-free number 18001030222. They are required to provide details such as the tanker number, name of the individual demanding money, as well as their own name, address, and contact number. Complaints can also be lodged via WhatsApp at 8888251001 or through the ‘PMC Care App,’ accompanied by photographic evidence.

Nandkishore Jagtap, Chief Engineer of the Water Supply Department at the Pune Municipal Corporation, emphasized that the municipal corporation does not levy charges for water supplied through tankers. He assured citizens that all complaints would be promptly addressed and action taken against errant tanker drivers.