BANGALORE: With Bangalore bursting at its seams with the increasing population, the power shortage, bad civic conditions and the water shortage have posed a major question about the functioning of corporation bodies.
Discussing the daunting question of water availability in the city — the Bangalore Water Supply Sewerage Board, the Bangalore Bruhat Mahanagara Palike, the Bangalore Development Authority, the Lake Development Authority and the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation Limited came together to devise an action plan to meet the impending water famine that is expected to strike Bangalore by 2020.
“The present population of Bangalore is 85 lakhs and this will increase to 1.26 crores by 2020 as the current annual growth rate is four per cent.
Calculating the data of water availability, usage and leakage right now and estimating it with the growth rate, the per capita availability will go down drastically by 2020.
It will be less than half of the Gol norm.
The shortage will only keep increasing as the population growth will not halt, this is why there is a need to look into remedial measures now,” said PGR Sindhia, Director of Centre for Policies and Practices.
While many civic bodies brought up issues related to rain water harvesting, rejuvenating lakes and water bodies, the panel members also discussed reducing the leakage, pollution of lakes, increasing toxicity of underground water, removal of encroachments on storm water drains, rajakaluwes, segregation of sewage and construction of new STPs.
“It is always said that growth should follow infrastructure.
But in Bangalore, this is happening in reverse.
We have decided not to fall prey to the current situation and to devise an action plan.
The BWSSB has some plans starting with saving the Hesaraghatta lake, Yedinaholle and western rivers.
We know what are the safe places and so we will not give into the pressure applied by the industries.
We need to reduce the unaccounted water, the water treatment needs to be done well and we will also look into including the Lake Development Act in the March budget,” assured Suresh Kumar, Minister for Urban Development.
Meanwhile, shocking statistics were presented at the conference that was the leading point of debate between the civic bodies present there.
“The total gross water supply to the city will be 1,425 mld in 2012 once the Cauvery scheme is completed.
Out of this, 50 mld is for non-domestic purposes, such as industries, commercial and educational institutions.
The unaccounted water is 45 per cent, of which at least 30 per cent (450 mld) will be leakage.
The net available water supply for domestic purposes within the BBMP area will be only 925 mld.
This would give a per capita availability of 93 lpcd for a population of 1 crore, which will go down to 73 lpcd by 2020, when the population of Bangalore will be 126 lakhs,” said V Balasubramanian, Chairman, Centre for Policies and Practices.
As per the Gol norm, there should be 150 lpcd available, but considering the statistics presented, there will be a shortage of 300 mld of water by 2020.