Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thirsting in parched Banashankari

Thirsting in parched Banashankari

Residents have been waiting for Cauvery water in vain for a few years now, reports Senthalir S

Bhavani R of Kerepalya, living near Banashankari 3rd stage, walks a long distance everyday to fetch drinking water for her family. There are two borewells in her area but the water is not potable.
Though the morning trudge for water is tiring, she has been persisting with the hope that in a matter of few days the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) would ensure she gets Cauvery water at her place.
Residents in nearby Pantarapalya also face the same problem. At least 150 families in Pramod Nagar and Bagegowda Nagar layouts in Banashakari 3rd stage have paid to pay Rs 15,000 each as beneficiary capital contribution, including penalties, to the BWSSB.
They were promised that within one month of payment, water would be supplied to them.
"BWSSB laid the pipelines to supply Cauvery water and fixed meters in every house here in 2007. But till now, they haven't supplied water. We are now paying Rs 250 to water tanker operators," Rashmi D'Souza, a resident of Pramod Nagar, said.
Despite several reminders to the officials, they did nothing to solve the water crisis, she said. "We have approached BWSSB officials many a time but they do not respond to us properly. What are we supposed to do?" asked Nagaraj S of Pramod Nagar.
Many residents of Kerepalya and Muneshwara Nagar are finding it difficult to pay the beneficiary capital contribution and penalties to get the Cauvery water from Greater Water Supply.
"Since the nearby Hosakerehalli lake is contaminated, we get only dirty water from the nearby borewells. We have no alternative as we cannot pay the large amount being sought by the BWSSB," said Bhavani.
T Venkataraju, BWSSB chief engineer, said only a few people had paid the money and the board would supply water only if everyone paid the amount. "People there have not given the layout plan also," he said. "Water is a basic human right and it is the responsibility of BWSSB to provide water to the people and not fine them," said Pradeep Deepu, who is a part of campaign against water privatisation.


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