Kathmandu, February 2
In a bid to regulate water-supplying tankers and drinking water business, the government has introduced a directive requiring all water tankers operating in the country to acquire business licence from the Kathmandu Valley Water Supply Management Board (KVWSMB).
The KVWSMB published a notice today urging all water-carrying tankers to obtain business licence from the board within March 2.
Currently, there are almost 600 such tankers in Nepal and they have been registered at the Department of Transport Management (DoTM). However, their business has not been registered with any government authority.
“Though the business of water tankers is booming due to the unavailability of sufficient potable water in Kathmandu Valley, there has been no law to regulate water business. As we have now introduced a directive to regulate the business, all water tankers will have to obtain business licence within March 2,” said Sanjeev Bikram Rana, chairman of KVWSMB.
According to him, water tankers that do not acquire business licence within the deadline will face action as prescribed by the law.
The directive, which was passed by KVWSMB three weeks ago, has a provision to terminate the business of the tankers that do not acquire the licence.
According to Rana, the need to regulate water business and tankers in the country was realised after a number of water tankers were found to be supplying water unfit for drinking purposes. Some tankers were randomly filling water from rivers and supplying it for drinking purposes to customers, he said.
The new directive has categorised water into three types — water that fulfils Nepal Standard (NS) parameters set by the government; water than can be consumed only after it goes through a purification process; and water for other purposes.
Rana mentioned that tankers from now on will be allowed to supply only one type of water and KVWSMB will issue separate licences to tankers for ferrying the aforementioned categories of water. Similarly, water tankers will have to mention the source, purpose and quality of water, among others while applying for the licence, he stated.
Meanwhile, traders involved in the water business have welcomed the government’s recent move to register water tankers at KVWSMB and acquire business licence. “It is true that unhealthy competition has increased in the market due to lack of regulation. Registering water business and water tankers at KVWSMB would regulate the water business in the country and assure that consumers get quality water,” Bishnu Dahal, president of Kathmandu Valley Drinking Water and Tanker Entrepreneurs Association, said.
A version of this article appears in print on February 03, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.