People of several areas are facing an acute water crisis after disruption in the GMC’s supply chain due to a technical snag at the Satpukhuri Water Treatment Plant

City Correspondent

GUWAHATI, March 24: As the supply of water from the Satpukhuri Water Treatment Plant in the city remains disrupted, the private suppliers are hiking prices of this elixir of life by over 100 per cent since they know the public has no other option.

Hundreds of households in Kharghuli, Lamb Road, Latasil, Silpukhuri, Chandmari, Bamunimaidam, Nizarapar, Joypur and other areas are facing an acute water crisis after disruption in the Guwahati Municipal Corporation’s supply chain due to a technical snag that developed at the Satpukhuri Water Treatment Plant on Monday.

However, restoration work has already begun and is likely to be completed by Thursday.

Taking advantage of the situation, the private water suppliers are charging higher rates illegally from customers for each consignment of water tanker. The suppliers have increased the rate by more than Rs 500  for each consignment of 1,000 litres of water.

“From Rs 200 for 1,000 litres of water a couple of days ago, we are now paying up to Rs 800 now,” Rajib Prakash Baruah, a resident of Barowari area said adding, “If we try to question them, they say that if we are not ready to pay there are others who will.”

“They (private suppliers) are exploiting the desperate situation that people are in. There is no other option as we do not have any alternative arrangements. We are dependent on piped water supply only,” said a resident of Silpukhuri.

A GMC source said the business (private water supply) is unregulated and unlicensed. There is no mechanism with the GMC to check the unscrupulous water traders in the city.

A private water supplier said, “If you have a borewell, all you need to do is buy a few trucks and hire drivers. You don’t require a licence.”

Meanwhile, the affected residents have urged the Kamrup Metro district administration to take strict action against the unscrupulous water traders.