It took three consecutive droughts in Karnataka for the state Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to finally release funds to rejuvenate the Thippagondanahalli reservoir.
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The KSPCB has released Rs 9.8 crore for reviving the reservoir in order to increase water supply to the city in the near future.

The 74ft Thippagondanahalli reservoir is located on Magadi Road, which is 35km away from the city. Built by Sir M Visvesvaraya, it had been the main source of water supply to the city since its inauguration in 1933. The water in the reservoir has not been used for drinking purposes since 2012.

The Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) had called for tenders in 2016 to rejuvenate the stretch of the Arkavathy River, which flows between Hesaraghatta and TG Halli reservoir. An Israeli firm, Ayala Water and Ecology Ltd, was awarded the tender.

The detailed project report was submitted to the BWSSB on Januray 3, 2016, but due to lack of funds, the project was put on the backburner.

BWSSB again recently called for tenders to rejuvenate this stretch of the Arkavathy river, said top officials.

“The DPR suggests creating wetlands on both sides of the Aarkavathy River to absorb pollutants. About 8 million litres of industrial waste from Yeshwanthpur and Peenya flow into the reservoir via the Madiwala Lake every day,” a BWSSB official said.

The wetlands will have plants that absorb nitrates, phosphorus and magnesium so that the water which flows into the reservoir will be free of pollutants.

The BWSSB is hoping to obtain an additional 140 MLD of water from the reservoir by 2018.

“The BWSSB used to draw 60 MLD of water every day until April 2010. It gradually reduced to 20 MLD because of depleting levels over the years. It stopped pumping from the reservoir when the water level decreased to 6 ft in December 2012,” the BWSSB official added.

The reservoir, which has a storage capacity of 3.345 tmcft, has never had water reaching maximum storage capacity levels since 1998. It filled up to 61 ft in 2003, after which the water level started depleting.

BWSSB officials say that the bad condition of the reservoirs is due to rampant encroachment of the catchment area of the Arkavati river, which will be rectified soon.