Monday, March 16, 2009

Summer woes: Water crisis looms large in Bangalore

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With the onset of summer in Bangalore, the residents of the city are likely to face severe water shortage in the coming days. With increase in the number of water connections from 2.2 lakh in 2002-03 to 5.64 lakh in 2008-09, the drinking water crisis looms large in Bangalore in this summer.

According to official sources in the State secretariat, increase in the number of water connections, stagnation in the quantum of water supply and frequent power failures are the major factors for the drinking water shortage in Bangalore City.

The Minister for Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Katta Subramanya Naidu who held a meeting with officials of the Board on Friday said the water supply to the city, which has population of 80 lakh, remained stagnant since 2002-03. As many as 895 million litres a day of water was being supplied to the city now against the demand for 1200 MLD. Though the water supply remained at 985 MLD a day since 2002-03, he said.

Bangalore has been receiving water mainly from the Cauvery river sources and to a some extent from Hesaraghatta and Thippagondanahalli reservoirs on the Arkavathy. The city draws 30 MLD from T.G. Halli reservoir, 135 MLD each from Cauvery I and II Stages, 270 MLD each from III and IV stages of Cauvery, and rest 25 MLD from the Torekadinahalli plant.

Mr. Naidu has appealed to residents of the city to be ready to face summer heat and shortage in the supply of drinking water. The water supply has been affected doe to frequent power failures and interruptions. As many as 56 tankers had been supplying water the city round the clock. With the present supply of 895 MLD to the city, he said it was difficult to supply drinking water daily to all localities.

With water supply from reservoirs remained stagnant, the BWSSB has rejuvenated 3679 public borewells in the city. He appealed to the residents to judiciously use water and said work on 548 borewells was going on and would be commissioned soon.

The BWSSB has set up 46 boaster pumping stations in various locations of the city to ensure water during power failures. The Minister has appealed to the residents to utilise treated water for non-domestic purposes such as washing cars, gardens and construction of buildings. About 35 MLD treated water had been supplied to various locations of the city.

He alleged that previous governments were responsible for the present power and drinking water crisis in the IT capital of India.

Work on the Rs. 3,0000 crore 5th phase of the Cauvery Water Supply Scheme has been commenced. The completion of the scheme would enhance the volume of water by 500 MLD. The project would be completed in 2011, Mr. Naidu said.

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