Govt begins categorising quality of water

Kathmandu, March 17

The government has begun to categorise quality of water being supplied by water-carrying tankers in the Kathmandu Valley as drinkable, drinkable only after further processing (boiling and filtering) and not suitable for drinking purposes.

Introducing a new directive to regulate water-supplying tankers in the Valley, the Kathmandu Valley Water Supply Management Board (KVWSMB) has started distributing different stickers to water-supplying tankers on the basis of aforementioned categories of water that they are supplying in the market. To ensure that one water tanker supplies only one category of water, the KVWSMB is also distributing separate business licences to tanker operators under each category.

Sanjeev Bikram Rana, chairman of KVWSMB, said that the board is issuing blue stickers to tankers that have acquired business licence to supply drinkable water. Similarly, the board is issuing green stickers to the water-supply tankers which have acquired business licence to supply water that is drinkable after further processing and yellow stickers to water tankers that obtain business licence to supply water for purposes other than drinking, as per Rana.

“The business of water tankers has been booming in Kathmandu Valley as there is limited supply of water here. However, until today we did not have any laws to regulate water tanker business,” Rana said, adding that from now on all water-supplying tankers will have to take business licence from the board.

As per KVWSMB, more than 600 water tankers are registered at the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) in the Kathmandu Valley.

Quality can be determined on the basis of stickers pasted on tankers, says KVWSMB

Rana informed that the government has set quality parameters for drinkable water, water that is drinkable only after boiling and filtering and water that is used for other purposes instead of drinking.

“As a tanker can supply only one category of such water and the category is labelled on the tanker itself in the form of a sticker, there is less chance that tanker operators will be able to cheat customers regarding the quality of water,” said Rana.

The KVWSMB has also formed a special committee to carry out inspections in the market and crosscheck whether water tankers are supplying the quality of water they are authorised to supply or not.

“The team will inspect water-supplying tankers twice a week in the market,” Rana said. According to him, water tankers not meeting water quality standards and supplying different category of water will face action as prescribed by the law.

In the past, the government monitoring has found that a number of water tankers have been supplying water unfit for drinking and also randomly loading water from rivers and supplying it for drinking purpose.