Study classifies Bangalore Urban and Rural ‘critical’
The failure of the city’s water infrastructure to keep pace with the spiralling population has resulted in many areas in Bangalore being perpetually in the grip of a crisis.
Corroborating this, the Census of India 2011 stated that 16.9 per cent of Bangalore Urban district’s population still depend on borewell water. Over 12.5 per cent still depend on “untreated” tap water.
Water management experts say that this figure could be even higher considering piped Cauvery water supply is limited to the core city areas as of now. Some new areas on the city’s periphery will soon get Cauvery supply with the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) planning to commission its Cauvery Stage IV Phase II next month. This will augment the city’s existing supply of 900 million litres per day (mld) by another 500 mld.
Irrigation expert Capt. Raja Rao told The Hindu: “A study by the Mines and Geology Department in association with the Central Ground Water Board has classified Bangalore Urban District as well as Bangalore Rural District as ‘critical’ as far as the availability of ground water is concerned.”
Any further sinking of borewells in these two districts will be at the peril of the existing ones and, in the days to come, existing borewells will either dry up or the yields will diminish drastically. “That apart, there are several other indications that show that any new development work in these two districts will have to entirely depend on surface water,” he said.
Stressing the need for tertiary treatment of water, he suggested that the authorities should not give approval to any new residential or industrial project without ensuring availability of surface water through BWSSB. The former BWSSB chief B.N. Thyagaraja, who heads the expert committee set up by the State government to suggest alternative sources of water for Bangalore, said that the last resort would be to lay dual pipelines in the entire city for potable and non-potable purposes.
“Even if it means inconvenience to the citizens for sometime till the lines are laid, the dual pipeline system will be of immense help in water conservation,” he said. The water board had started implementing this in all new layouts, he added.