Despite heavy rainfall in the Cauvery river basin, Bengaluru city has been receiving less than normal supply of water. The reason – the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), which monitors and supplies Cauvery water to the city, has been facing problems with speedy water filtration.
Several residents in Jayanagar, JP Nagar, Banashankari, Koramangala and Ejipura have complained to the BWSSB, stating that since August 7, they have not been receiving an adequate supply of Cauvery water to their homes.
Karnataka witnessed unprecedented rainfall last week and water-starved regions, especially in the Cauvery river basin. The Cauvery river, which originates in Kodagu’s Thalacauvery, overflowed due to excess rainfall. According to the Indian Meteorological Department, Kodagu received 355% excess rainfall between August 7 and August 14 alone. The week before that, the region witnessed 135% excess rainfall.
South-Interior Karnataka received 288% excess rainfall between August 1 and August 7, causing floods in generally dry areas like Mysuru, as the Krishna Raja Sagar Dam and the Kabini were filled to the brim. The catchment areas in the Cauvery river basin were flooded. The force of the water flow also brought with it huge amounts of silt as well as garbage that had been indiscriminately dumped in the catchment areas of the Cauvery, thereby reducing the speed at which it was earlier being purified before being deemed fit to drink.
“The force of the water caused floods and landslides. But this also caused a lot of soil erosion in the catchment areas. The silt and sediments in the water have resulted in high turbidity. The Cauvery water reaches Thorekadanahalli, where the water treatment plant is located. Due to the force with which the water has been gushing in, a lot of weeds and garbage has been washed in. These huge silt deposits and other waste materials are hampering the speed at which the water is generally purified,” said BWSSB Chief Engineer Kemparamaiah.
BWSSB officials say as the water purification process has slowed down, the city has been receiving a deficit of 30 MLD water per day since August 6. “The city is getting 1,425 MLD water per day now. In southern and south-eastern areas in the city, including Jayanagar, Koramangala, Ejipura and also Banashankari, residents have been getting less than normal amount of Cauvery water. In addition, the residents in the suburbs, who recently got Cauvery connections, are also facing a little bit of shortage,” a senior BWSSB official said.
However, BWSSB states that the water shortage will be tackled by the end of the week and Bengaluru residents will get 1,453 MLD water as usual by Monday.
“For the last few days, work has been taken up on a war-footing to fix the problem of the sludge at TK Halli. The aeration tanks have nozzles, which have been clogged. Once these are cleaned, the water flow will go back to normal,” he added.