The proposal to draw water from Linganamakki dam to Bengaluru has received flak from the people.
Environmentalists and people of Malnad region have appealed to the government to drop the idea of drawing water from Linganamakki dam to meet the drinking water requirement of people in Bengaluru, 300 km away.
People say the project is not feasible. They are not opposed to the idea of providing drinking water to Bengalureans. But the project is economically, socially and ecologically not feasible. The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) must draw water from water bodies in and around Bengaluru, said environmentalist Keshava Korse. He urged the government to conduct an extensive study on the pros and cons of the project before going ahead.
Scientists from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, have suggested a few Rs to meet the requirement of drinking water of Bengaluru. They are - Rejuvenate lakes, wetlands, recharge pits and micro watersheds, Retain lakes, wetlands and groundwater sources, Recycle, Reutilise through sewage disinfection, Reuse to meet domestic demands and be Responsible through sensible and good governance.
According to T V Ramachandra of the Centre for Ecological Sciences of IISc, Bengaluru, annual rainfall of Bengaluru is 770 mm and rainwater yield is 14.80 tmcft per year.
The water availability in the city is 30.85 tmcft per year, which includes treated domestic wastewater of 16 tmcft. The domestic demand is 2.05 tmcft per year. So, there is no shortage of water, he said.
He said senseless large-scale projects (to transport water through pipes) have failed in the country. The government, which is in the clutches of contractors, consultants and corrupt engineers, is keen on implementing large-scale diversion projects. This gives scope to pilfer public money, he added.
Korse told DH that Linganamakki dam was a source of hydro power. So, approval for the project by the Karnakata Power Generation Limited was necessary. Installation of pipelines from Linganamakki dam to Bengaluru is an uphill task. Local people are struggling to get drinking water due to scanty rainfall, he said.
“If there is no adequate water in the dam due to deficit rainfall, what will the government do?” Korse said.
Former chairman of Western Ghats Task Force Ananth Hegade Ashisara said a detailed project report will have to be prepared and its impact on ecology must be studied. So, people of the region need not panic, he suggested.