As residents of East End Apartments, a residential society in Mayur Vihar Phase I Extension, face an acute water crisis, supplying bottled water to the society has set the cash registers ringing for the water vendors.
As the demand for potable water increased, so did the prices at which potable water was being sold. When City Spidey visited the society, it found two women haggling with a water vendor outside the society. They said that they were residents of Block 9 and that the vendor was charging Rs 350 for one 20-litre bottle of Bisleri water.
When City Spidey correspondent, posing as a customer, asked the vendor how much he was charging, he said, “If you carry the bottle from here, you have to pay Rs 350 – Rs 150 for the bottle and Rs 200 for the water. If I carry it to your flat then you have to pay only Rs 200. But you will have to return my bottle. If not, you have to pay Rs 350.”
General water cans are normally sold for Rs 40 to Rs 50.
The spike in prices stems from the fact that the demand far exceeded the supply on Tuesday. Some water suppliers had even shut their shops by evening. They said that they have a fixed number of customers and that they had sold all of their bottles.
One vendor, who was carrying two bottles in a rickshaw, said, “So far I have sold 100 cans of water. I charge only Rs 30 for a 20-litre can.”
Brijkishor, a servant, who was carrying two 20-litre cans of Bisleri water, said, “I have been supplying water to many flats in Block 10 since early morning. They (the residents) give me Rs 20 extra for that. I’ve made Rs 300 so far."
Meanwhile, inside the society, residents gathered in large groups to discuss the problem at hand. While some of them were hopeful that the problem would be solved in time, others, not so much. And the cause of their worry was the extension of the deadline. The management committee had until afternoon said that water supply would resume by evening. But till 1945 hours, there were no signs of the problem abating.
A group of women, who were residents of Block 14, said that it was a tough time for them. One of them, on condition of anonymity, said, “As I came to know about the water crisis in morning, I didn’t even cook breakfast. I saved some water in case the problem is not resolved soon."
Another one added, “Yes, we are facing shortage of water but I thank our president BK Singh who is trying his best to solve the problem. Hopefully we will get potable water from today as he assured. In such difficult times, we need to be united and support those who are working relentlessly.”
Deep Gupta, a resident of Block 5 said, "I have been living here for the past 25 years, but have never faced such water crisis. However, we should not panic. "