Hoskote still uses City's sewage for irrigation

Authorities in Hoskote town, which has been using Bangalore’s sewage water for last two and half years for irrigation, potable and non-potable purposes, have chalked out a plan to revive 29 tanks to solve the water crisis.  But the proposal is gathering dust due to age-old agreement.

The minor irrigation department, after detailed study of 20 years, had drawn up a mechanism by which sewage from east and north Bangalore entering Yellamallappashetty Lake through stormwater drains was lifted to Doddakere in Hoskote.

This water was used for irrigation purposes. It is still being used to cultivate vegetables and fruits. Just by diverting sewage water from Yellamallappashetty Tank near K R Puram in Bangalore Urban District to Doddakere in Bangalore Rural District, water problem of Hoskote Taluk had been solved to a large extent. This also helped restore 40 per cent of borewells in the area. People here, even now use this water (drawn from borewells) for potable and non-potable purposes. Water quality analysis shows it is not polluted and fit for consumption.

“After tasting success here, we chalked out another proposal to revive 29 more tanks in Hoskote Town. The proposal, along with design plans, was submitted through Urban Water Supply and Sewage Board. The proposal was first mooted eight years ago. But the plan never moved forward. It was proposed again three years ago but has been stalled due to objections raised by Tamil Nadu government to projects in Dakshin Pinakini basin,” an official said. In 1892, Madras and Mysore governments had entered into an agreement that Tamil Nadu should be consulted before diverting or using water from this river. But officials here now question: “There is no river as it has dried up. Instead, sewage water flows through it. So the project can be implemented.”

The project of reviving 29 tanks will cost the government Rs 45 crore. According to department officials, if 2.57 tmc ft is pumped for seven months, it will fill around 1,000 borewells in the taluk and help over two lakh people.

Hoskote Town Municipal Council Junior Engineer Poornima N said due to this ground water level which was below 1,000 ft has now increased to over 800 ft. Last year there was heavy rainfall due to which Doddakere and Yelemallappa Shetty Lake filled up. Now if the project is delayed and there are no rains, the water problems will intensify again. For the last two years we have been depending on this sewage water lake for all needs and have been using it too, she said.

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