Scheme to benefit seven erstwhile city municipal councils and one town municipal council

Bangalore’s long wait for more Cauvery water is finally over. Following the completion of the Rs.1,759-crore Cauvery IV Stage Phase II project, funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar will inaugurate it on Wednesday at the Ground Level Reservoir (GLR) in Jambusavari Dinne, J.P. Nagar 8th Phase.

Announcing this at a press conference on Tuesday, Minister for Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) S. Suresh Kumar said the project was designed to meet the growing demand for water, especially in the newly added areas.

Who will benefit

While residents of the erstwhile seven city municipal councils (CMCs) —Yelahanka, Byatarayanapura, Bommanahalli, Mahadevpura, K.R. Puram, Rajajeshwarinagar and Dasarahalli — apart from one town municipal council (TMC), Kengeri, will get connected through this project, residents of some core areas facing acute water shortage will also benefit.

“The additional 500 million litres of water per day (mld) will ease the pressure on the existing supply lines,” the Minister said.

Although the project will augment the city’s supply of 900 mld by 500 mld, only 250 mld will flow initially in the huge pipelines laid under the project. Of this, only 100 mld will be supplied to the 13,667 consumers (of new areas who have obtained connections) from Thursday onwards.

Poor response

BWSSB chairperson Gaurav Gupta said of the 88,965 Sajala applications (the prescribed simplified format for getting a new connection) sold, only 23,023 had been submitted. “Of these, 13,667 connections have been sanctioned so far,” he said.

Attributing the poor response to people’s “wait and watch” policy, he said: “Following the delay in the execution of the Greater Bangalore Water Supply and Sanitation Project (GBWASP), people want to make sure that their money does not get blocked without any benefit. They have every right to wait and decide. Once water supply starts, we hope to get more consumers.”

Simplifying

The public will soon realise that piped river water is far superior to borewell water both in terms of cost and quality. To further simplify the process of applying for new domestic connections, BWSSB will facilitate online submissions and fee payment.

Replying to queries, he said the alleged harassment of public BWSSB-authorised plumbers to lay the house connections was being looked into. “We have set up a task force and anyone facing problems can bring it to our notice.”

Although the project will bring more water to the city, residents of the 110 villages included in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits along with the seven CMCs and one TMC will not benefit.

“We are planning a separate project for these villages and have already approached the JICA for financial assistance. As Bangalore’s allocation of 18 tmcft of Cauvery water will end with Cauvery IV Stage Phase II, JICA officials have asked us to show the source of additional water,” Mr. Gupta said.

“Based on the report that will be submitted by the committee set up by the State government to study alternative sources of water for the city, we will send a proposal to JICA soon,” he added.

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