Officials wait for reservoir level to rise to resume supply
Although the inflow of water from Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) dam and the Hemavathi river to Shiva Balancing Reservoir (SBR) — from where water is drawn to the city — has improved considerably, the water crisis continued to stress Bangaloreans on Monday.
The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), which was so far drawing 1150 million litres of water per day (mld) through all the four stages of the Cauvery, is now drawing only 800 mld taking the shortage to 350 mld. Following Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s directions, Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd. released nearly 1,200 cusecs from the KRS in the last two days and the Water Resources Department, a total of 5,300 cusecs from the Hemavathi in the last three days. However, not all this water has reached the Shiva Balancing Reservoir because of lack of pressure, encroachments and uneven surfaces en route. BWSSB officials said that the situation is likely to stabilise in another 48 hours once the KRS level is replenished.
The BWSSB has now started rationing water to ensure equitable supply. While pumps attached to the Cauvery 3 and 4 stages were shut down on Saturday and Sunday respectively, officials said that 15 pumps of the 1 and 2 stages were stopped on Monday.
“We are doing this to ensure that all areas are not affected simultaneously. Normal supply is likely to resume in the next two days after the water level at Shiva Balancing Reservoir increases,” an official said.
Cashing in on the unprecedented water crisis this year, private suppliers have almost doubled their rates, especially in east Bangalore where water shortage is a perennial problem.
In areas such as Malleswaram, the rate of a 4,000-litre tanker of water (Rs. 400 till a few days ago) has shot up to Rs. 700 and in Sanjaynagar, from Rs. 400 to Rs. 900, according to residents.