Drinking water is problem number one

The epicentre of the crisis is KR Puram and Mahadevapura. Here’s why: There are areas such as Vijnanapura in KR Puram, where you pay Rs three for a pot of water and public water supply is restricted to once in 20 days.

Cauvery water supply is at least two years away. The existing borewells are not properly maintained. The existing pipelines are old and leaky. Quarrels over water are common. Friends have turned into fiends for a few pots of water. Mallika, a resident of Vijnanapura, said “I literally fought with my brother’s family for few pots of water.”

The alternative for them are the private water tankers, charge up to Rs 500-800 for each load. The only silver lining is individuals such as Ravi Prakash, who provide over 40,000 litres of free water to the people of Vijnanapura from a borewell at his residence, through a couple of tankers.

With the number of borewells increasing, the ground water level is depleting alarmingly. In nearby Devasandra, however, many wealthy families allegedly bribe officials to get more water. The mushrooming of high-rise apartments in KR Puram and Mahadevapura has caused further strain. Without a proper drainage system, prolonged dumping of sewage into soak pits has contaminated the ground water.

High nitrate content in borewell water is a warning sign.

In Mahadevapura, residents are completely dependent on borewell water. Software and real estate hubs have come up on agriculture lands. Builders and the developers have built massive apartments and gated communities here, but have not been able to provide water.  "We have been paying lakhs of rupees for water here. At any point of time, a tanker will be pumping into water sumps.  The builder promised Cauvery water, but what we are receiving is only dirty tanker water," says a resident Raj Basu, a resident of Aphine Eco in Doddanekkundi, Mahadevapura.

Residents of Bommanahalli, a predominantly industrial area, are slightly better off.

Says Nagaraj, a resident of Mangammanapalya, a locality there. “Many areas including Patel Chennapa Circle, Nanjundappa Layout, Neelakanta Layout, HSR Layout and other places get Cauvery water once in three days for at least three hours.”

However, some residents like Arshad complain that residents do not get their share of the free supply through tankers as promised by BWSSB. “They divert it to the rich and powerful people in the area,” he alleges.

In Yelahanka, the water supply is once in four days. “During summers, we receive water once in four days which is much better when compared to many parts of the City,” says Mohammad Shafi, a resident of old town of Yelahanka.

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