BENGALURU: A breach of the wall of the open canal leading to Netkal Balancing Reservoir (NBR) in April 2010 resulted in a complete shutdown of water supply to the city for two days. This made a senior BWSSB official conceive this idea --- route water to the city safely through pipelines.
Cauvery water from Krishnaraja Sagar Reservoir and Kabini dam meet at T Narsipur and 600 cusecs of water are drawn to Shiva Balancing Reservoir (SBR) daily. From here, the water flows by gravity to NBR and is taken to Thoraikadanahalli. Water is pumped to the city from here through various stages for a distance of nearly 100km.
Former chief engineer (Cauvery) Narayan was the brain behind the ‘Gravity Pipeline Project’. Recalling the shocking incident when the canal wall was breached, he told Express, “It was on April 14 that the breach took place. Instead of water heading towards Thoraikadanahalli (TK Halli) to be pumped into the city, it ended up flowing in a different direction. An immediate decision had to be taken to shut down the water supply to the city from SBR. Over 400 men were deployed to rebuild the wall and it took us 72 hours to set it right.”
During the initial two days, all the backup water stored in the reservoir was used to supply water to the city. However, even this storage dried up soon. “Though the wall was set right, it took two more days for the water to be supplied to the city. So, it was a tough situation for us,” he said.
To tide over the situation, more water was pumped from Thippagondanahalli (TG Halli) reservoir on Magadi Road and some quantum of water was supplied to the city, he recalled.
It was then that Narayan conceived this idea of having pipelines directly from SBR to TK Halli so that there will be a foolproof way of supplying water to the city, recalled his former colleague. Narayan said, “My proposal was sent in 2010 and okayed by the government in 2011. It was supposed to be in place by 2013 and pipelines were also readied. It got delayed after that.”
Expressing happiness that it was commissioned on Saturday, he said, “The big advantage is that the open canal can now be used to route water from the Cauvery Water Supply Scheme Stage V until the pipelines are in place.”