Plans of diverting water from far off places to quench the needs of Bangalore are all contractors’ schemes blessed by politicians, said V. Balasubramanian, the court-appointed commissioner to oversee digitisation of revenue records.
Diverting water from west-flowing rivers to Bangalore requires pumping of water and costs Rs. 60,000 crore, and the diversion of water from Almatti reservoir, about 400 km away from Bangalore, could witness water being used by local bodies en-route, he said.
The former IAS officer was delivering the keynote address on ‘Dying lakes of Bangalore’ at a workshop organised here by the ESG on ‘Wise use, conservation, protection and rehabilitation lakes/tanks in the context of Karnataka High Court judgement’. He said: “These are no workable schemes except for being contractors’ schemes.”
Solutions to the water woes of Bangalore, he pointed out, was in reviving its lakes, as the State has already utilised its quota under the Cauvery river water tribunal award. The Bangalore Metropolitan region comprising Bangalore Urban and Rural, and Ramanagaram districts has over 8,000 lakes.
“However, these lakes have become sewage lakes, as polluted water is being let into it,” he said and added that the sewage treatment plants that have been set up are working to only 30 per cent of the installed capacity since sewage was not being diverted to these plants.
‘Stop release of sewage’
“Lakes in Bangalore cannot be protected unless release of sewage is stopped. Almost 80 per cent of the water consumed in Bangalore turns into sewage, which can be treated and deployed for secondary uses,” he pointed out.