BENGALURU: Bengalureans may face the toughest-ever summer this year, at least on the water front: around 618 borewells dug by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in core areas have dried up over the last four years. The civic body has drilled 9,891 wells across the city.
Cashing in on the situation, private tankers have upped water price which is burning a hole in the pockets of citizens, especially those staying in apartments.
The BBMP and the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) are aware of the ground water situation and are dependent on Cauvery river water to quench the city’s thirst till May 2019.
Bengaluru requires around 1.58tmcft of Cauvery water. But most citizens are depending on borewells and the city has about 3.6 lakh of them.
BBMP commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said borewells running dry in the city is an alarming situation.
We knew we’d some day pay the price for indiscriminate drilling of borewells in Bengaluru, but went ahead blithely anyway. That day has come sooner than expected, with hundreds drying up. We’re now forced to drill deeper to strike water. With private tanker operators smelling the opportunity to make a fast buck in this dire situation, things will only go rapidly from bad to worse. The groundwater table is fast depleting and we need to take corrective measures quickly. Forwarding ‘Save Water’ WhatsApp messages is just not enough; we need to make lifestyle changes and save water on the ground.
“The city is divided into two parts – core Bengaluru consisting of 135 wards, while the other part has 63 wards spread over 110 villages. In core Bengaluru, borewells have dried up due to ground water level dipping drastically. Cauvery water will be supplied by BWSSB in areas where piped water supply is affected due to various reasons,” Prasad said.
BBMP is drilling borewells and all are being handed over to BWSSB which has to ensure water is supplied without any interruption. More will be dug up as and when required and the defunct ones will be dug deeper. Around Rs 150 crore has been earmarked to cope with water scarcity, he said.
BBMP has dug up 1,286 borewells in 35 wards of outer Bengaluru. Kengeri division has the highest number of BBMP borewells (423) while Yelahanaka has 319.
Groundwater table is plummeting in B’luru
The groundwater table is plummeting across the city and people are drilling deeper than 1,500ft in core Bengaluru. A resident from Koramangala said though the water source was available at 600ft, it was not sufficient and they had to go as deep as 1,300ft. But within two months, the yield became scarcer and water is now available for only half-anhour every day.
“We need to wait for 24 hours for the well to get recharged but it’s not enough. We have to order at least seven tankers of water in a week and each of them costs between Rs 900 and Rs 1,200,”he added.