With water levels going down in various reservoirs, Bangalore faces acute shortage. Officials have estimated that there is enough water for only the next 15-18 days.
Water supply from the KRS reservoir to Bangalore city has come to a standstill. Official sources in the Water Resources Department and the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) told Deccan Herald on Friday that the flow from KRS is so poor that the water released was not even reaching Torekadanahalli, from where the BWSSB pumps water to Bangalore.
On Friday evening, the flow from KRS stood at 767 cusecs. Less than six days ago, on May 12, the outflow was 1,114 cusecs. Last year, the outflow during the corresponding period was 4,816 cusecs, as the water level at the dam stood at 81.65 ft. Currently, the water level at KRS is 64.57 ft.
The outflow on May 13 was 647 cusecs, 675 cusecs on May 14, 684 cusecs on May 15, 767 cusecs May 16. The levels slightly improved after water from the Hemavathi reservoir was released to KRS, which came as a temporary reprieve.
According to officials, if the outflow is less than 1,000 cusecs, water released would not even flow 50 km from KRS, which is located in the Mandya district.
Officials at Torekadanahalli said water reaching the station was being pumped “with great difficulty. Until Thursday we were in a position to at least pump the released water. But now water has even stopped making it to Torekadanahalli,” they said.
The officials added: “Leakages and evaporation losses can also be attributed as one of the major factors. If the outflow is less than 800 cusecs, then it will not reach this distance.”
A senior BWSSB official said on May 11: “There was no flow of water even at the Balamuri and Yadamuri falls, just about 13 km from KRS. Even water from Hemavathi was not reaching the pumping stations.”
“This is because of the sand mining in the area, which diverts the water. At Melapura, downstream of Srirangapatna the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB) has even provided sandbags but it has been of little help,” the official said, adding that there was an immediate need for action.
Following this, as recent as Wednesday, the BWSSB shut down 15 out of the 60 pumps at Thorekadanahalli, Harohalli and Tataguni.
With taking acount the ground reality, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday asked senior officials from the BWSSB to continue supply of water to residents of Bangalore, despite depleting water levels at major reservoirs, with the usable water level at Kabini, one of the sources for Bangalore, having touched zero this summer.
“This was his priority. Soon after he was sworn in, he had spoken to officials and had instructed them to prepare a report on the situation before he returns from Delhi,” a close associate of Siddaramaiah said, adding that the same was presented before him on Friday.