Bengaluru has grown in a big way in the last few decades which has put pressure on all the basic requirements including natural sources like water. Administration of the city is facing the tough challenge of meeting the water needs of the residents here.
A recent survey indicates that there are around 75,000 small and big apartments in Bangalore out of which about 70% apartments are not getting water from the river Cauvery. These small and big apartments have to depend on borewells and private tankers for fulfilling their water needs.
Residents Forced To Pay Huge Price For Water
Most of these apartments that do not get water supply from Cauvery are located in Bellandur, Banaswadi, Mahadevpura, Varthur, Hunnur, and Whitefield. In the last few years, a huge number of apartments have come up in the Hebbal-KIA corridor in North Bengaluru.
This is another area that does not receive water from Cauvery. The groundwater levels in the city are depleting rapidly which is why the residents are forced to pay a huge price for water to the private tankers.
That is the reason why the Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka G Parmeshwara recently said that the state government is thinking of denying permission to construct new apartments for the upcoming five years. According to the Chief engineer maintenance, BWSSB, BC Gangadhar, the board is currently supplying Cauvery water to around 575 sq km of the 709 sq.km that is under the limits of BBMP.
Newly Added Villages Lack Cauvery Supply
Parmeshwara added that most of the areas in the northern and eastern periphery of Bengaluru that include 110 villages have already been added to the city limits. But these are also yet to get supply from Cauvery. Not only apartments, but even the independent houses in these areas do not have Cauvery water connections. Most of these apartments in the outskirts of the city have come up due to growing opportunities for employment that Bengaluru offers.
General Secretary, Bangalore Apartment Federation, Srikanth Narasimhan opined that the government should get its act together to deal with such water crisis. He added, “The situation we are in is mainly due to the government allowing so many apartments to come up without any guiding principles. Though rainwater harvesting is mandatory, the implementation is poor. There is a need to create more awareness and be stricter with enforcement. The second thing is fixing pilferage of water, which the government should be more serious about. Finally, the government should go for decentralized sewage treatment plants and reuse this water for non-potable purposes.”
Srikanth further added, “We from the federation are encouraging apartments to go for recharge wells, harvest more rainwater, have efficient STPs, install aerators for taps and reuse water from RO purifiers. We are also doing campaigns such as the half-bucket challenge. If the government and citizens can fill these gaps, we can, in fact, reduce our dependence on the Cauvery river itself.”