Water scarcity in Bengaluru
Share on:

Ajay Hanje, Pune

The Silicon City of India has encountered a serious water problem, mainly because of a severe drought. There hasn’t been adequate rainwater, which has caused a drop in the water levels in the Cauvery River. The scarcity of water not only affects drinking water but also affects the irrigation system of the city. Also, the borewells in Bengaluru are drying up due to less rain in recent months. BWSSB (Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board), which provides drinking water to Silicon City residents, states that the situation is feasible in central areas, yet it is distressed in the city outskirts.

To deal with the scarcity of water, the state government is planning to use milk tanker trucks from KMF (Karnataka Milk Federation) to deliver water to Bengaluru city. They will also take over the private borewells in the city and outskirts of the city. DK Shivakumar, the deputy chief minister, during a meeting with the agencies (BWSSB, BBMP, police) discussed that owners of water tankers have time till Thursday to register themselves with the government. The government will then take over the tankers to distribute water in the city and outskirts. 

The citizens of Silicon City have stated that the water tanker operators are using the shortage as an advantage to increase their rates and are charging very high prices. Prior to the water crisis, 1000 liters of water would cost them ₹600-₹800, after the crisis the prices have skyrocketed to ₹2000 or more. 

As the summer heat is expected to be more severe this year, a round figure of 7,082 villages across the state and 1,193 wards, including the urban district of Bengaluru, are expected to be vulnerable to drinking water crisis until the coming few months before monsoon hits again. This was an assessment made by the government on the 10th of February.

The state government’s decision to take over the private water tanker operator and provide water to the driest parts of Bengaluru has affected the private apartments, these gated communities were wholly dependent on tankers for their daily supply of water, which has now become a problem for them. A housing society in Bengaluru has passed a message to their residents that a fine of ₹5000 will be issued if they are found misusing drinking water. A special security guard has been appointed to this duty and monitors the water levels.