Residents forced to buy water here

Swathi Shivanand

No BWSSB water supply in New Thippasandra

People buy water at Rs. 250 a tanker from private suppliers Scarcity of water has forced many residents to go for borewells

BANGALORE: For all its claims of efficient service and being one of the best water supply boards in the country, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has failed in supplying water to residents of New Thippasandra at HAL 3rd Stage.

"They openly ask us for a bribe if we call them and ask for water," says S.K. Talukdar, a resident. From 5th Main to 10th Main, people who depend on water from the BWSSB told The Hindu that they have resigned themselves to buying water at Rs. 250 a tanker from private suppliers.

"No water today" is the standard response that they get from the officials, they said. "They do not bother to even explain why we do not get the water we are entitled to," says Mr. Talukdar. His son, Subenoy, says, "On the rare occasions that we get water, we get an hour's supply at such low pressure that we are able to fill only a bucket."

Scarcity of water has forced many residents to take to borewells. "I actually do not even know when BWSSB water comes," says Ramesh Babu, a businessman. Five years ago, he decided to go in for borewell because the water supply was irregular and he would find it difficult to give away his house for rent. "Eight years ago, we had regular water supply. Then we got water on alternate days. It dwindled down to a trickle and now when I open that tap I hear a hiss of air," Mr. Babu said.

What makes the residents more upset is that there is constant water leakage from a valve near the road. "So the water just flows down in the gutter, while we pay for water that we do not even get," says Ram Mohan, another resident.

Mr. Talukdar shows his recent bill, which charges him Rs. 202 as water charges and asks the same question.

Venkatesh, who works at BEML, says that his meter stopped working a year ago. But yet he gets a bill of about Rs. 190. "When I complain, they ask me to write my problem in their register. Not one of my complaints have ever been attended to," he said.

Executive Engineer Mahesh, when contacted on Sunday, claimed no knowledge of the irregular water supply. He said that if there were problems, they would be rectified.

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