Although water scarcity each summer is not new to Bangalore, the shortage may worsen this year if it does not rain soon. Frustration levels are high and the usually unflappable residents are not hesitating to take the law into their hands.

Frustrated by the attitude of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board's (BWSSB) officials in attending to their complaints, residents of Pillanna Garden vented their anger on them here on Wednesday. One of them is said to have slapped the area's Assistant Engineer who had to be hospitalised following the altercation. The BWSSB has filed a complaint against the resident at the Kadugondanahalli police station, according to a top BWSSB official.

With the depleting water levels in the Thippagondanahalli (TG Halli) reservoir and the demand for water from newly-added areas, water shortage has become a major worry for the residents.

BWSSB officials themselves are worried. “Despite the power crisis that has affected pumping at the local ground level reservoirs, we have been able to manage [the situation] so far. But if it does not rain in the next few weeks, the crisis will worsen,” the official told The Hindu on Thursday.

Residents of East and North Bangalore are the worst hit. If low pressure and contamination are problems in Indiranagar, Domlur and Richmond Town, erratic and inadequate supply dog Devarajeevanahalli, Pillanna Garden, Hebbal, HRBR Layout, HBR Layout and Byatarayanapura. Residents of Lingarajpuram, Banaswadi, Jai Bharathnagar and Ramaswamipalya have been complaining that they get water once in four-five days and that too only for a few hours.

Rajesh J.F., president of the Citizen Welfare Association of HRBR II Block, said while some areas in HRBR get water once in three days, others do not get it for 15 days at a stretch. “There are leaks in the pipe-joints resulting in water wastage. We have identified several leaks and informed the officials,” Mr. Rajesh said.

“The problem is peculiar in Pillanna Garden. While most of those who have metered connections do not get water, those who draw water illegally are enjoying the facility. And this is happening in connivance with the officials. Repeated complaints to the board have gone in vain and some get water only once in 15 days here,” said A. Shivashankaran of Hennur Road and Pillanna Garden III Stage Association.

Residents of some areas, including Sanjaynagar, who also buy water from private tankers as the BWSSB supply is inadequate, are worried as the suppliers have raised their charges.

“We used to pay Rs. 250 for one load earlier. But the supplier has increased it by Rs. 100 in the last one month. If we bargain, he will make us wait for one or two days,” said V. Satyamurthy, president of Sanjaynagar Residents' Welfare Association.

Pointing out that private suppliers were fleecing the people, he said this along with the hike in water tariff will add to the monthly expenses of a household.

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