BENGALURU: Experts from the Indian Institute of Science, led by Prof T G Sitharam, presented a feasibility report regarding supply of drinking water to Bengaluru from west flowing rivers in Dakshina Kannada district like the Netravati.
The report, submitted to Urban Development Minister Roshan Baig on Wednesday, suggested construction of a coastal reservoir at Mangaluru to take river water and make it available for drinking purposes after treatment. Around 240 tmcft water flows into the sea from the rivers every year, sources said.
The reservoir, if constructed, could store on an average 24 tmcft — 20 tmcft required for Bengaluru and 2.1 tmcft for Mangaluru.
Prof Sitharam is a senior professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, IISc.
The novel technology is already in practice in countries such as Hong Kong, China, Britain and Germany, said Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board Chairman Tushar Girinath.
According to sources, various advantages of this technology, among others, include prevention of erosion, no damage to environment, no displacement of people and no disturbance to the flow of rivers.
Power can also be generated besides construction of by-pass roads, experts said. The water can also be used for irrigation purposes; it acts as an alternative for pure drinking water, they said.
However, the report has been slammed by another IISc scientist. Prof T V Ramachandra, from the Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc, said that no Environment Impact Assessment was done by the team led by Sitharam to make such claims. “The reservoir is going to cause an ecological disaster. It is going to destroy the livelihoods of those living downstream and also cause ecological imbalance. I am open to a discussion for anyone to disprove it,” he said.
“Bengaluru requires 18 tmcft of water and 15 tmcft is met by rainfall itself. While rain can be harvested at an individual level, there’s option of lake rejuvenation too. When sewage can be treated and water needs can be met, why do we require water from the Western Ghats?” he said.
He gave the example of the Yettinahole project and said he had given proof that water wasn’t sufficient to pump water there.
Environment Secretary Ravikumar, Urban Development Department Secretary Anjum Parvez and others were present. “We have asked the experts to tell us if it is financially viable,” said Girinath.