Water shortage in Bangalore East keeps tenants away

ANY WHICH WAY: Some residents tie pots to their bicycles to collect water for their homes. File photo: K. GOPINATHAN

ANY WHICH WAY: Some residents tie pots to their bicycles to collect water for their homes. File photo: K. GOPINATHAN  

Residents have evolved various ways to cope with the paucity

Yohan Stephen, a resident of I Stage, I Block, HBR Layout, has not received a drop of piped water since 2009. In fact, taps have gone dry for the last three years in all the 260 houses located in the area. They collect water from a BWSSB tank in OMBR Layout by tying pots and cans to two-wheelers.

Cases like these are a dime a dozen in Bangalore East. Residents of these areas get the least quantity of Cauvery water when compared to other older areas. While residents of other areas get between 100 and 150 litres per capita per day (lpcd), residents of Fraser Town, Sagayapuram, Lingarajpuram, Banaswadi, Jai Bharathnagar, Ramaswamypalya and surrounding areas get between 70 and 80 lpcd of water.

This has led to residents evolving various forms of water management. For instance, water supply is so scanty in Davis Road that June Carvalho and other residents of her apartment block have started a system of rationing water among themselves. Tenants of a flat owned by Shafi Modi on Ashoka Road have informed him they would vacate the flat as they can no longer buy water. A few flats in the neighbouring apartment are lying vacant for the last few months with the water problem keeping away tenants. Abraham George, another resident of Ashoka Road, told The Hindu that water problem was so bad that the rents of flats had reduced drastically.

Although areas in Bangalore East such as Fraser Town are just six to eight km away from the Vidhana Soudha, as far as the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is concerned, they are at the fag end of the supply line. By the time Cauvery water from Thorekadanahalli (T.K. Halli) reaches the Machalibetta pumping station (from where water is supplied to east Bangalore), the quantity of water and the capacity of the pipelines come down.

“Residents of our surrounding areas get water at least once a week. We are the worst affected because according to the officials we are located on an elevated position,” Mr. Stephen said.

“Although the area engineers attribute the problem to low pressure at the Machalibetta pumping station, we suspect foul play by the valvemen and area officials,” Mr George said, adding that problems started a year ago.

BWSSB officials admitted that Bangalore's water supply was unequal. “While the supply is the least in eastern parts of Bangalore, the southern parts are relatively unaffected. This is because these parts are located at the entry point for Cauvery water into the city,” said Engineer-in-Chief T. Venkataraju.

The board is now planning to lay bigger pipelines from B. Narayanpura to OMBR and HBR Layouts. “The problem can be solved only after the Cauvery IV Stage 2{+n}{+d} Phase is commissioned in December,” Mr. Venkataraju added.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 3:26:34 PM |

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