R. Venkataraman, a resident of Pai Layout in A. Narayanapura ward, paid a fee of Rs. 10,000 to the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) in July 2004 for a Cauvery water connection. But till today his family depends on tanker water.
Similarly, hundreds of other residents of the newly added areas are still dreaming of Cauvery water.
Residents of the new areas are spending thousands of rupees on buying tanker water. This has become a predominant issue and wannabe corporators are being asked what they are doing about it.
“We do not want anything else except water. We spend nearly Rs. 2,000 per month on buying water. We would definitely want to choose a candidate who would ensure that we get water and a proper underground drainage system,” A.V. Shama Rao, president of Ramamurthy Nagar Residents' Welfare Association, said.
The problem is not just in the new areas. Access to safe drinking water is also the main demand of residents in core areas of the city, a majority of whom have for decades suffered water-borne ailments due of lack of access to safe drinking water.
Nasreen Khan, mother of five-year-old Ismail Khan, who was admitted to the Isolation Hospital during last year's outbreak of gastroenteritis, said her choice would depend on who guaranteed safe drinking water for her family.
M. Horee and his wife G. Shakti, residents of 18th “A” Main in HAL 2nd Stage, whose 10-year-old son H. Siddarth had fallen sick last year following water contamination, said they would want a representative who could take up the local issue of safe water on priority.
However, L.S. Narayan, vice-president of North East Joint Action Front in Kalyannagar, says: “Even if the candidates promise us, we know it is going to be fulfilled only in 2012 when work on the Phase II of Cauvery IV Stage Water Supply Scheme will be completed.”
The Water Board, which is drawing 900 million litres of water per day (mld), is facing a shortfall of 349 mld to meet the drinking water requirements of the city. Apart from the core areas in the old 100 wards of the city, BWSSB is also supplying water to 74 newly added wards.