Despite the Cauvery Water Supply Scheme (CWSS) having reached an advanced stage in the city, residents of Ramamurthy Nagar, which forms a part of the K R Puram constituency that is supposed to benefit from CWSS’ projects, have found little relief from their water woes.
“It’s better than before,” said most people living on either side of Kalkere Main Road whom City Express spoke with, by which they meant their dry taps now sometimes trickle with water.
Selvi, a homemaker, said that it was only after seven to eight years of pestering authorities that their house got a water connection about seven months ago. “We began to receive Cauvery water supply only since June,” she said.
“Earlier, the borewell water we depended upon used to be supplied by the City Municipal Council. It used to be muddy. Now, the water we receive through the Cauvery supply has a strong smell bleaching powder,” says homemaker Devi, expressing another common problem faced by residents there.
Complaints fall on deaf ears, according to a resident of 1st cross who does not wish to be named. “Our cross doesn’t receive any water at all, so 10 other women who live here and I complained to the BWSSB about two months ago. When the engineers came for an inspection - surprise, surprise - there was water, so they accused us of lying. But from the next day on, there has been no water supply,” she claimed.
In what makes for a paradox, some residents of Ramamurthy Nagar who are yet to pay for their Cauvery connection continue to get water, though intermittently, while others who have paid, receive no water and are tired of banging on the government’s doors. “We receive water every now and then, but we haven’t paid for our connection. How can we question the authorities then?” expressed Rashmi, a homemaker. “Anyway, most households manage with branded water cans for drinking purposes,” she added.
The water supply system in the locality is chaotic, to say the least, and assistant engineer for Ramamurthy Nagar (ward 26), BWSSB, Uma Hebbal agreed, claiming that the project is still underway. “We have provided connections to 38,000 households in the K R Puram constituency so far, but as we are still laying pipes in many places and many of the old lines are blocked, we haven’t sanctioned connections and water meters in some areas. It will definitely take some more time to regularise operations.”
Attributing the presence of bleaching powder in the water to its use as a purifying agent, she said, “Many of the lines were laid as long ago as 2004 or 2005. So in order to purify the water of any impurities that may have accumulated in the pipes over the years, we add bleaching powder.”