Fingers crossed to get a drop of water | | | Indian Express
Fingers crossed to get a drop of water
Kavitha Kushalappa First Published : 13 Dec 2009 04:36:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 13 Dec 2009 07:19:12 AM IST
BANGALORE: That a national conference on “Urban Water Management— Challenges and Options’ is being organised in Bangalore, soon after the announcement of the calendar of events for elections to the BBMP, should be a welcome coincidence.
It is more so because the non-profit organiser, the Centre for Sustainable Development, is chaired by the former chief secretary Dr A Ravindra, who is now the adviser to the CM on urban affairs. He was also the architect of the draft urban development policy released by the state government recently.
The draft policy incidentally has a brief reference to the controversial privatisation of water supply. Besides, experts like former irrigation secretary Captain Raja Rao have often pointed out that with the 500 mld (million litres per day) Cauvery Stage IV, Stage Phase II project expected to be commissioned in 2012, the city will exhaust its allotted share of 19 TMC ft Cauvery water. The recent efforts to revive the Arkavathy must therefore focus more on recharging the ground water table than surface water, he said.
Fears on the availability of drinking water for an expanding city was pronounced during the BBMP’s formation in 2006-07.
Three years on, there are no quick solutions. The three-day meet begins on Sunday with a field visit by delegates.
Treats: bitter and sweet
A BWSSB chief engineer said that the BWSSB wants the industries segment to seriously consider buying treated, nonportable water. “We are preparing to place the matter on the table during the Global Investors Meet,” he said pointing out that at present, Bengaluru International Airport Limited and Bharat Electronics Limited procures a small quantity of water treated at BWSSB’s Yelahanka treatment plant.
BWSSB’s daily supply of drinking water to Bangalore remains around 900 mld. The former CMCs and other new areas making the BBMP shall have to wait till 2012 for the 500 mld from Cauvery State IV, Stage Phase II to fill their total need. Only 30 per cent of these areas receive Cauvery water.
The 60 mld augmented by the Netkal Balancing Reservoir has by far been the only addition to the daily supply in the city in the last three years.
Verticals and theories
Officials pointed out that even when planning for the newlyintegrated areas, the BWSSB has to contend with the increase in demand in the core area. The latter has seen “extensive vertical growth” and water consumption has obviously increased, it was said.
This vertical growth has also compounded the problem of Cauvery water supply in the integrated areas like KR Puram, Mahadevapura and Dasarahalli.
These three fall in the “end point” of the supply pipeline and reach is difficult due to lack of pressure, they said.
In recent years, there have been talks about a return to Bangalore’s lakes for its drinking water needs, but progress seems to be little. As officials put it, “it is only theoretical.”
Electric crematorium in Beggar’s colony
With the existing burial grounds and crematoria being over-loaded, the BBMP on Saturday inaugurated a new electric crematorium at Beggar’s colony.
Rajarajeswarinagar MLA M Srinivas inaugurated the crematoria.
The BBMP has provided additional crematoria at various places in the city to cope with the unnatural load. The crematorium is situated adjacent to the Outer Ring Road near Magadi Road. With a central plaza, stage, ritual platform and waiting halls, it also includes two furnaces. The BBMP now has 11 electric crematoria in the city.