Exploring the Costs of Constructing Underground Water Tanks in India

Costs of Constructing Underground Water Tanks in India

In a country like India where water scarcity is a pressing issue, the construction of underground water tanks becomes imperative for sustainable water management. However, determining the cost of such construction projects can be a complex endeavor, influenced by various factors such as capacity, materials used, and location. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of underground water tank construction costs in India, shedding light on average expenses and key considerations.

Average Costs:

The cost of constructing an underground water tank in India exhibits significant variation based on several parameters. According to industry insights, here’s a breakdown of average costs per liter for different tank capacities:

  • 1000-litre concrete water tank: Rs. 28-35 per litre
  • 5000-litre water tank: Rs. 20-25 per litre
  • Tanks exceeding 50,000 litres: Less than Rs. 14 per litre

Cost Breakdown for a Standard Tank:

For a standard underground tank measuring approximately 2.3m x 2.3m x 2.1m, with a capacity of around 11,000 liters, the construction cost can be further dissected as follows:

  • Excavation: Rs. 2500
  • Plain Cement Concrete (PCC): Rs. 6750
  • Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) walls and base: Rs. 52,700
  • Shuttering works: Rs. 10,000
  • Steel: Rs. 90,000
  • Cover slab: Rs. 11,000

This brings the total construction cost to approximately Rs. 1,92,500, translating to roughly Rs. 20 per liter.

Masonry Tanks and Other Alternatives:

Alternatively, masonry water tanks offer another construction approach. For instance, a masonry tank with a capacity of 1771 liters may incur a total cost of INR 24,578, averaging about 13.87 INR per liter. Additionally, companies like the Chennai Plumbing Company provide underground RCC tanks at a rate of 15 Rupees per liter, excluding GST.

Urban vs Rural Cost Differences

  • Urban projects may have higher labor charges due to a shortage of skilled construction workers
  • Land acquisition costs could be 30-50% higher in urban areas compared to rural
  • Logistics and raw material transportation expenses may be higher for urban sites

Regional Cost Variations

  • Construction costs in metros like Mumbai or Delhi could be 20-25% more than tier 2 or 3 cities
  • Tank capacity requirements may be higher in cities due to larger population, increasing base costs

Economies of Scale

  • For capacities above 1 lakh liters, the cost per liter could be under Rs. 10 with bulk raw material purchases
  • Larger projects over 5 lakh liters may avail discounts from contractors due to higher values


Capacity (Litres)Construction MaterialCost per Litre (Rs.)

Cost Breakdown for a Standard Tank:

Construction ComponentCost (Rs.)
Plain Cement Concrete (PCC)6750
Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) walls and base52700
Shuttering works10000
Cover slab11000

Alternative Construction Methods:

Construction TypeTotal Cost (INR)Capacity (Litres)Cost per Litre (INR)
RCC (Chennai Plumbing Company)VariableVariable15 + GST

In summary, the cost of constructing underground water tanks in India varies significantly based on factors such as capacity, materials used, and construction methods. While the average cost per liter ranges from Rs. 13 to Rs. 35, it’s crucial to consult with experts for precise project estimates tailored to specific requirements and budget constraints. Ultimately, investing in underground water tanks proves indispensable for addressing water scarcity challenges and ensuring sustainable water resource management across the country.

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