No need to ration water supply in Bangalore, says Bommai

No need to ration water supply in Bangalore, says Bommai

Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday retracted his words by saying that the water level at the Kabini and KRS reservoirs does not warrant rationing of water supply in Bangalore.

He, however, said water consumption will be monitored during the coming summer months.

He remained silent on water required for agriculture purposes in the Cauvery basin. Sources in the government said that the conservative estimate by the Central experts team which visited the Cauvery basin, had put the shortage at 35 tmc ft till the beginning of monsoon in June.

The rough estimate of drinking water requirement by Bangalore City is 0.053 tmc ft per day and 1.5 tmc ft per month in normal conditions. The projected requirement up to June is about 13.5 tmc ft. In the entire basin area, the drinking water requirement would be not less than 17 tmc ft.

The total area cultivated in the Cauvery basin is about 12.5 lakh acres. If 17 tmc ft is used for drinking purpose, hardly 18 tmc ft would be left for irrigation which is grossly insufficient, sources said.

One can claim that there is sufficient water –  may be to avoid panic among the water consumers or keeping the coming elections in view. But the ground reality is different, sources said. 

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with officials of the Water Resources Department, the BWSSB and the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RD&PR) department, Bommai said the Kabini and KRS reservoirs together have18.30 tmc ft water. Of this, 10 tmc ft is live storage. Bangalore requires about 7.5 tmc ft till May-end, at 1.5 tmc ft per month. There is sufficient water availability to ensure normal supply till May, he added.

Acute shortage

The Minister had on Monday stated that the government would have to resort to water rationing in Bangalore to cope with the looming water scarcity.

BWSSB Minister Suresh Kumar, too, reiterated that the water levels in reservoirs were very low.

“These are the exact figures that we will be placing before the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC). As there is a bare minimum of stored water in the reservoirs and since drinking water is a priority, at no point will water from KRS be released,” he added.

Besides Bangalore City, water from these reservoirs is also supplied to Mandya, Mysore, Ramanagara and Pandavapura by Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB).

Kumar said that since the water levels have depleted in the reservoirs, a committee has been constituted with principal secretaries of Water Resources department and RD&PR and Chief Engineers of BWSSB, KUWSDB and Cauvery Niravari Nigam as members. The committee will meet once a week to monitor and review water consumption from the reservoirs and report it to the Chief Secretary.

Bommai said about 2.5 tmc ft is required to supply drinking water to Mysore, Mandya and other towns in the Cauvery basin area. This will be ensured by utilising the inflow at these reservoirs. The department has been directed to release water for irrigation purposes depending upon the storage level, he added.

The Water Resources department will upgrade machinery required to pump water from the dead storage if such a situation arises, he added.

Earlier, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said he will soon convene a meeting of all DCs and CEOs of Zilla Panchayats to take stock of the drinking water situation in the State. Directions have been already issued to all the DCs to supply water through tankers wherever necessary, he added.

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