BENGALURU: Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is encountering a strange situation in 17 out of 110 villages where it had planned to supply Cauvery water. It is ready to supply 20 million litres of water per day to the villages but it seems to have few takers.This project is just the beginning of the Japan International Cooperation Agency funded Rs 5,550 crore Cauvery Water Supply Scheme Stage V drinking water and drainage project.
A senior BWSSB official said, “Having availed borewell water all these years, the villagers now want Cauvery water also free of cost. This is the only logic we can think of to explain this lack of interest.”
“Houses that require a water connection need to pay a minimum beneficiary contributory charge (BCC) fee of Rs 11,000. The BCC will be higher for houses with more storeys or for commercial buildings,” another official said. This deposit is a one-time non-refundable payment.
Of the nearly 20,000 houses in these 17 villages, less than 1,000 have come forward to apply for water connections, the official said.BWSSB was unable to provide The New Indian Express the exact areas and number of connections and offered a rough estimate. “We can say that around 350 houses in Herohalli, 150 in Horamavu, 60 in Byatarayanapura-Dasarahalli, a few hundreds in Vallabh Nagar and a village in Mahadevapura have come forward to avail the new connections,” the official said.
Asked if those who have paid the BCC will get water immediately, the official said infrastructure to provide doorstep connections and installation of water meters are generally done for an entire street. “It is tough to install them in one or two houses in a street. Only if many houses in a locality want the connection can we go ahead with providing all the infrastructure,” he said.
The dismal response from the villages was totally unexpected, he added. “We have spent Rs 900 crore to put in place the required infrastructure for providing drinking water,” he explained.BWSSB is now pumping only 1,380 MLD of 1,400 MLD water each day as it has earmarked 20 MLD for these villages.
Apart from information conveyed to the public through local BWSSB offices, hundreds of pamphlets too have been distributed by to goad public to invest in water connections. BWSSB top officials had even requested corporators of the villages during the recent BBMP council meeting to urge villagers to go in for Cauvery water.
The entire Cauvery Stage V project aims at supplying water to 110 villages spread across 225 sqkm of the city in the five zones of Mahadevapura, Bommanahalli, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Dasarahalli and Byatarayanapura.