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Business News/ News / Bengaluru water crisis: From using milk tankers, fixing rates, filling lakes to fines; How the city is tackling drought

Bengaluru water crisis: From using milk tankers, fixing rates, filling lakes to fines; How the city is tackling drought

Bengaluru water crisis: Residents of the city have been dealing with water shortage, which is mainly a result of the failure of both the southwest and the northeast monsoon in Karnataka

Bengaluru water crisis: People stand in a queue with water cans to collect drinking water at subsidised rates amid ongoing water crisis in Bengaluru. (AFP)Premium
Bengaluru water crisis: People stand in a queue with water cans to collect drinking water at subsidised rates amid ongoing water crisis in Bengaluru. (AFP)

Bengaluru water crisis: In light of the ongoing water crisis in the city, residents of Silicon Valley are calling for a shift to online work or work-from-home until the monsoon season. 

Here is the list of measures Bangaloreans are implementing and the government is undertaking to tackle the water scarcity problem until monsoon rain provides relief.

Also read: Bengaluru water crisis: Calls for work from home, online classes until monsoon grow louder

  • Most schools and colleges in Bengaluru continue in offline mode to avoid disturbing students’ routines during exams, despite demands on social media calling for a switch to online mode given the worsening water crisis. However, few coaching centres in the city have shifted to the online mode.

Also read: Bengaluru water crisis: Using drinking water in swimming pools? You may attract a penalty of 5,000

  • Institutions are opting for water conservation measures on their campuses, using recycled water for washing and cleaning, and have stopped watering the lawns daily. RV Institutions Pro Vice-Chancellor Nagaraj DP said, “In our biggest campus, we spend about 15,000 per day on tanker water; in the smaller ones, it would be around 1,000. But exams are right around the corner, and it doesn’t seem fair to send students home just for this month," reported the Economic Times.

Also read: Bengaluru: ‘If water crisis continues for 2 months, we’ll have to serve food in..,’ says hotel manager amid shortage

  • The city’s tech professionals have gradually started moving back to their hometowns, temporarily, amid urban distress due to water shortage.

Also read: Bengaluru water crisis: As shortage deepens, techies’move away’ from India’s Silicon Valley

  • The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) banned the use of drinking (potable) water in swimming pools. Violators of this order will be penalised and will face a fine of 5,000 with an additional penalty of 500 per day. A stringent law in this regard will be imposed from March 15.
  • BWSSB issued an order on March 7 banning the use of potable water for non-essential purposes. Under Sections 33 and 34 of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Act 1964, potable water cannot be used to clean vehicles, construct buildings and roads, for entertainment purposes, or decorations like fountains.

Also read: Bengaluru water crisis: Use ‘purified environment-friendly water’ for construction work

  • Civic authorities in Bengaluru are taking measures to refill the drying lakes with treated water. It was decided that 1,300 million litres per day would be supplied to replenish groundwater sources in the city as around 50 per cent of the borewells have dried up.
  • BWSSB is taking measures to install filter borewells and construct water plants as over 3,000 borewells have been reported to have dried up in the city. The agency will deploy innovative technology near the restored lake beds to supply water after testing.
  • BWSSB extended the registration deadlines for private water tanker owners till March 15 to encourage more water suppliers and tackle the water mafia. 
  • The Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, DK Shivakumar, said that unused milk tankers will be used to ferry water.
  • Bengaluru City District Collector KA Dayanand issued a circular fixing rates for water tankers. If the distance between the target site and the water tanker location is up to 5 km, a 6,000-litre water tanker will cost 600, an 8,000-litre water tanker will cost 700, while a 12,000-litre water tanker will cost 1,000. If the distance is between 5 and 10 km, a 6,000-litre water tanker will cost 750, an 8,000-litre water tanker will cost 850, and a 12,000-litre water tanker will cost 1,200, the notice stated.
  • Residents are implementing emergency measures of their own and are issuing instructions to stop washing cars and balconies, bathe with half a bucket of water and use “half flush" after daily ablutions, use the economy cycle of washing machines and use wastewater from Aquaguard filters to mop the floor and bathrooms.

The BWSSB Chairman, Ram Prasath Manohar, informed that Bengaluru requires a total of 2,100 MLD of potable water, out of which 1,450 MLD comes from the Cauvery River. Meanwhile, the BJP state unit held a protest at Freedom Park on Tuesday, March 12, to draw the State government’s attention to the prevailing water crisis. BJP MP Tejasvi Surya accused the Congress of appeasing its alliance partner in Tamil Nadu by releasing water from the Cauvery River. 

However, DK Shivakumar accused the BJP of indulging in politics over the water shortage issue and said, “We are providing what we have been asked legally to Tamil Nadu", reported ANI. DK Shivakumar further noted that the state government’s priority is to provide water to Bengaluru to ensure that there is sufficient water in the reservoirs to last till July.

On Tuesday, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that his state will not be releasing water to Tamil Nadu even if the Centre directs it to do so.

Also read: ‘Bengaluru water crisis to worsen if there is no...’: Here’s how the city is dealing with half-bucket baths

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government says that the city needs about 8,000 million cubic feet (TMC) from March to May, while currently, 34 TMC water is in reservoirs. Borewell water covers the remaining 650 MLD of the city’s water requirement. The city is facing a 250 MLD deficit mainly due to dry spells, depleting underground water levels, and exploitation of groundwater.


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Published: 13 Mar 2024, 12:58 PM IST
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