Despite the fact that there’s been more than adequate rainfall this year, there are still portions of the City that are facing issues with their Cauvery water supply.
While some of them are receiving water infrequently, others admit that they have
to depend almost entirely on tanker water, which is inevitably more expensive.
The question arises, however, as to why the abundant rainfall hasn’t translated into boosted water quantity; after last year’s crisis, many residents assumed that the extended monsoon would alleviate their water-related problems and ensure a smooth supply.
There are two factors contributing to the problem. In some of the newer areas that have come under the BWSSB’s reach — such as KR Puram — the body is limiting the supply of water because very few people are applying for connections.
“In these areas, pipes were laid out in 2005 to provide water to every home. At that time there was no water; although there’s water now, we can’t supply the required quantity because only about 35 per cent of people in the area have taken connections. The other pipes are left open and if we release all the water, it will flood the drains,” explains Sarala
Kumari, PRO of the BWSSB.
She goes on to add that although officials from the body have made door-to-door trips, encouraging residents to register for connections, the response has been lukewarm. Srinath Prahallad, a resident of Girinagar, has also been experiencing erratic water supply.
“We used to receive water once in two or three days. We thought the situation had become better, but during the festival time, we had to depend on external suppliers including tanker owners,” he explains. He goes on to add that whenever water is released, it’s allowed to flow for very little time and rarely fills their tanks entirely.
T Venkataraju, the engineer in chief of the BWSSB, explains that there are a variety of problems that might lead to certain households not receiving a steady supply of water.
However, he adds that it’s difficult for the body to take it up unless the residents make it a point to inform them of the problem. “If certain houses aren’t receiving water, it could be because of local problems like broken pipes or leakage. After all, there are 7,000-odd kilometres of piping for us to maintain with less manpower. If residents either send in an SMS or contact their local engineer, it will be attended to immediately,” he says.
Archana, a resident of Kumaraswamy Layout, explains that pockets of her neighbourhood face the same problem. “Thankfully, I live in a locality that is fairly well developed.
However, many of the residents of nearby areas — like Chandra Nagar — complain of water scarcity. I see a lot of them ordering tankers,” she says.
Another potential problem is that in some areas, people have drawn illegal connections from main pipes and are siphoning off water without actually paying for it.
Bhavana, a software engineer who lives near KR Puram, says that this used to be a common problem.
“It isn’t as difficult as it would seem and frankly, it’s tough for the authorities to monitor this sort of activity. The onus lies on the residents; if they realise that water is being drawn illegally, they should inform the concerned bodies,” she concludes.