Want water? fetch your valveman from that bar

“We have not received drinking water for the past four days. Even when we get water, it is muddy, not potable. That I have a borewell sunk in my house helps me, but the drinking water needs of my family is left largely unaddressed,” rues Raghunath, a resident of Srikanteshwaranagar.

Every Saturday, he said, the valveman in-charge of the area loses himself in a bar, leaving the residents scouting for him. They have to hunt him down and pay him money to release water. It is always the middle class and those belonging to low-income groups who bear the brunt during a water crisis. The condition of people living in rented houses is even worse. “Whenever we approach Lakshmi Chikkegowda, the corporator of Nandini Layout, she gives assurances that remain unfulfilled,” he said.

A little walk down the alleys of Shankarnagar, also falling under ward number 44, one can find huge drums in front of most of the houses on the street.

“We get drinking water on alternate days for about two hours either early in the morning or very late in the night. A majority of the residents store drinking water in drums and use it for household chores. We are dependent on the corporation water for both drinking and other needs,” Yashoda, who owns a small laundry shop in Deenabandhu Nagar said. She pointed out that irregular drinking water supply brings their lives to a grinding halt. Though the BWSSB installed taps in front of a few houses on the street last month, connection is yet to be provided.

Households where both the spouses work have a harrowing time storing water, as the water supply is erratic and irregular.  Although several taps have been installed, water is supplied at the whims and fancies of a few she said, adding: “Every month I pay Rs 270 as water bill to my owner. Despite that I have to fight for my share of water.” Due to shortage of water, Yashoda said, just like many of her neighbours, she can only wash clothes once a week.  “In the run for storing water, several days I am unable to sell flowers and hence lose a substantial part of my daily income,” she added.

The water crisis in the area can be tackled only when drinking water is supplied on alternate days without fail and the borewell water is supplied on a regular basis through taps on roadside, Ramavathi, another resident suggested.

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