Parts of east Bangalore are parched with little or no water being supplied to them by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). For example, the residents of LIC Colony and Hanuman Nagar near Jeevanbimanagar, have been getting a meagre amount that fills up to five buckets at the most on alternate days, for the past seven months.
“We have always had water problems, but of late it is acute. We have to buy water from expensive private suppliers every third day,” said M.D. Naidu, a resident of LIC Colony.
Rubbing salt into the wound, these residents are at the mercy of the local valve operators. They allege their share of water is being diverted to private apartments on New Thippasandra Road as the valve operators get handsome tips from there. “These apartments get regular water supply,” said Soosamma Mathews, a resident.
Officials shift blame
The residents have approached the BWSSB and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials several times, only to hear the usual excuses.
A senior BWSSB official admitted there was inadequate supply to LIC Colony and blamed it on power interruptions. However, he denied diversion of supply saying the apartments were getting water just like other consumers were.
Sumitra Vijaykumar, councillor of New Thippasandra Ward under which LIC Colony falls, was unavailable for comment. Instead, her husband, Vijay Kumar, told The Hindu that leakages caused following the creation of new lines could be the reason for the shortage.
But K. Chandrashekhar, Jeevanbimanagar councillor, rubbished complaints of water shortage in LIC Colony and said areas under his ward suffered more. “Even though the entire area has a history of water shortage, LIC Colony has suffered the least. They don't want to take the pain of using the alternatives provided such as borewells and hand pumps,” he said.
After the budget
Picking out reasons for the shortage, Mr. Chandrashekhar pointed out old pipelines were adding to the problem, but they could be replaced only after the BBMP budget. He said the residents should adopt rainwater harvesting which would contribute in raising the water table, which in turn would solve the shortage to a large extent.