Friday, June 24, 2005

No water scarcity in city: BWSSB

No water scarcity in city: BWSSB
The recent disruptions have been attended to and preventive measures taken
The Times of India

The last few weeks have been nightmarish for some Bangaloreans with disruption in water supply leading to dry taps. The city dwellers were a worried lot when unidentified miscreants diverted millions of litres of Cauvery drinking water meant for Bangalore in Kanakapura Taluk 45 km from the city. With this, the citizens in many parts of the city had to bear the brunt as there was no drinking water supply for almost two days.

"The water had been stolen from the Cauvery III Stage Water Supply System, which pumps 270 million litres per day (MLD) of water, said Guruprasad Bailey, Chief Engineer, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and added that the miscreants broke the spindle bar of the scour valve of the III stage pipeline system and diverted a large quantity of drinking water to a nearby lake for irrigation purposes. Though we do suspect some villagers are behind this, it is not clear why they would break the pipeline for water when the villages in surrounding areas have received copious rains.

Besides, breaking the pipeline requires thorough knowledge of Cauvery water supply system and sophisticated equipment, which villagers lack. "The damaged pipeline, with a height of over five feet, is very strong for a layman to easily damage," the official said. However, he denied there was any attempt of sabotage.

Following the incident, almost all areas in the northern and central parts of the city including Shivajinagar, Vasanthnagar, Cubbonpet, Sampangiramnagar, Coles Park, Munireddy Palya, High Grounds, Gandhinagar, Seshadripuram, Malleswaram, Thippasandra, HAL II stage, C V Raman Nagar and many other places were affected. "Following the incident we have put our officials on alert and also deployed a security agency to constantly carry out patrolling and manning of the entire pipeline", said Nagendra, Chief Engineer, Projects, BWSSB. He said repairs were taken up immediately and three fire engines and local water pumps were pressed into service to dewater the large pipeline. Pumping of water to the city resumed after two days and the Board has carried out some works such as sealing parallel valves and cementing pipeline junctions that would attract the attention such miscreants, apart from patrolling.

Regarding water supply disruptions caused by power supply failures, Nagendra said it is uncommon that power failure would hit water supply for the entire day. There are incidents where water supply may be affected for half an hour to an hour, but that is negligible as such incidents are of less frequency.

Speaking on water supply from tankers, Guruprasad Bailey said, "the Board has 22 tankers with 9,000 and 12,000 litres capacity", and denied any need for further adding to the fleet as water in the city is not scarce at all. "Often we receive complaints from the Western parts of the city because the T G Halli Reservoir has gone low and we have pressed additional tankers into action", he added.

Allaying fears of scarcity of water in the city in the backdrop of T G Halli going dry, Nagendra said, "Bangalore receives 150 MLD of water from Cauvery Stage I, 150 from Cauvery Stage II, 320 from Cauvery Stage III, and 245 from Cauvery Stage IV Phase I which comes to around 865 MLD, and it is more than what the city requires".

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