Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cut water supply to meet demand?

Cut water supply to meet demand?
Aarthi R | TNN

Bangalore: Some small repairs by BWSSB in August have hit water supply in eight houses on a lane in HRBR Layout: the monthly average of 45,000 litres is now less than 20,000 litres.
The work is over, road relaid — and they are still waiting for their normal stock, despite the many assurances by BWSSB local engineers. However, such water woes in this small area of Bangalore reflect a similar crisis in other parts of our growing city. The new projects for more water apart, is it time the city’s water supply is monitored, considering that it is almost being rationed.
DROP BY DROP: THE SPOT STORY
Supply was fine in HRBR Layout II Block till August 2. An average monthly stock of 40,000 litres was billed around Rs 550-600; water was supplied every alternate day. Each day, they could store 3,000-3,500 litres. Trouble began when pipe repair and modification works were taken up by BWSSB at the junction of 5th Cross and 5th Main road. But once work was complete, instead of improvement, even their regular water supply was drastically cut. Now, water is supplied only on eight days a month, at an average of just 1,000 litres. Worse, they had no proper water supply since December 5 for almost a week.
“We can understand if supply is cut by 20-25%, but such a massive cut has put us in the lurch. Is there anybody to take note of such issues as the local engineers don’t even take our calls now?’’ asks a resident on this lane.
They say complaints are regularly recorded in the complaint book, but in vain. “No action has been taken to rectify matters, but only worsened the situation. Some of them are planning to take it to the consumer court,’’ they say.
PRICE OF COMMERCIALISATION?
The frustrating wait for water got these residents to check out what went wrong and where. BWSSB had taken up repairs to redress the water supply problem of 5th C Main, and a newly-constructed apartment on 5th Cross at 5th C Main. Having fixed their problem, BWSSB caused another one.
Residents fear that shortage of water could also be due to the growing commercial establishments around. “A lot of new eat-outs and shops have come up in the area. These days, tankers don’t supply water there. How do they manage their huge water needs? We feel our stock is going to them,” say residents.
After 2002, the net water supply has not increased, but the number of connections have gone up by at least two lakh. The rising number of commercial establishments is also forcing BWSSB into a fine balancing act.
Partially ruling out fears, BWSSB minister Katta Subramanya Naidu says: “Water works is a routine activity. There can be no assurance on when they get completed as it depends on many factors. While the wait for water in the new areas continues, consumers will continue to get their share. Repair work might bring in some variation. However, with such complaints, we will review supply soon.’’
BWSSB chief engineer Venkatraju said: “Sanctioning water for commercial establishments does not mean we are diverting water. We cannot completely refuse water to commercial establishments as they also help us in subsidising the cost of supply for domestic consumers. However, it’s restricted at a minimum. At any point, variation in supply cannot go beyond 10-15%. But, regular maintenance and repair works might bring in some changes. We will look into this case.”

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