BBMP members unite over water scarcity this summer

BBMP members unite over water scarcity this summer

(L-R) Deputy mayor C R Ramamohan Raju, Mayor M Goutham Kumar, BBMP commissioner B H Anil Kumar and BWSSB chairman Tushar Girinath during the council meeting on Saturday. DH Photo/S K Dinesh

Fighting indifferences over issues ranging from garbage to footpath, corporators at the BBMP council, for a change, stood united on Saturday over the looming threat of a shortage of potable water this summer.

Apprehensive over the steady supply of potable water, the council held a special meeting in the presence of BWSSB chairperson Tushar Girinath to discuss the possible
alternatives.

Highlighting citizens’ plight, Muneendra Kumar, leader of the ruling party, said: “There is already a severe shortage of water in the start of the summer. What will be the scene during its peak? Even if you dig 1,300 ft, there is no guarantee of water in Bengaluru. In the Yelahanka Zone alone, we have dug over 76 borewells. Still, we are unable to cope with the
situation.”

Yet another senior BJP leader Padmanabha Reddy said: “The BBMP is caught in a bitter fight between BWSSB and BDA, especially along the outskirts. The board claims to have installed the sewerage network all across the city. Yet the sewage is getting into stormwater drains and people have been cursing us. When the BWSSB plans its projects, none of us is consulted in our own wards. What shall we tell citizens when they ask about the supply of water?”

Joining the debate, former Mayor G Padmavathi said, “There is water politics in my ward where powerful leaders take over the water-valve. When we call BWSSB officials over the improper supply of water, they do not even receive our calls.

“When people question about the exorbitant water bills, they are sent from pillar to post. During the two-hour water supply, only air gushes out of the pipe. Citizens are burdened unnecessarily with the costs.”

Population up; no water

Abdul Wajid, Leader of the Opposition in the Council said, “Ever since the 110 villages were added to the BBMP limits, Bengaluru’s population has shot up by 40 per cent. However, the quantity of water supplied has remained the same even after a decade. I wonder whether Bengalureans are getting their share of water as advocated by WHO.” 

BJP leader Padmanabha Reddy demanded that the BWSSB must issue a deadline on when it will supply water in these 210 villages as work has been happening for close to a decade.

“The government has embarked on the Yettinahole project. What plans does BWSSB have to get water to TG Halli and when will it reach Hesaraghatta? Also, has BWSSB achieved any success in reducing its pilferage and leakage ratio so that the city gets more water?

BWSSB’s response

Replying, Girinath said he would address all the queries and look into every problem raised by the corporators. “This summer we will be getting an additional 50 MLD (5 crore litres) of water every day. Currently, we are supplying about 1,400 MLD across the city and there is scope for supplying another 100 MLD,” he stated.

On the digging of roads by BWSSB, Girinath said, “As part of providing a water network to 110 villages, we had dug up a 2,700-km stretch. Of this, the work on 2,075 km has already been completed. A few stretches in Whitefield and HRBR Layout needs to be completed and it will be done soon. By March 2021, we will completely accomplish the work, and work on the 5th phase of the Cauvery water supply will begin. Until the completion of work (2023), we will supply water once a week to these villages.”

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