BENGALURU: The state government has allocated an additional six tmcft of Cauvery water to Bengaluru for drinking purposes. Currently, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is utilizing 18 tmcft of Cauvery water. With this additional allocation, the state capital will get 24 tmcft of Cauvery water, according to a government order. However, according to BWSSB, it is currently utilizing 19 tmcft of Cauvery water.
Deputy Chief Minister and Bengaluru Development Minister DK Shivakumar said that an order has been issued to reserve 24 tmcft of Cauvery water annually for drinking purposes in Bengaluru and its surrounding areas. In 2018, the Supreme Court stipulated that 24 tmcft of Cauvery water can be used for drinking purposes in Bengaluru. “No action was taken to utilize the full 24 tmcft of Cauvery water. Now, we are planning to use 6 tmcft more for drinking purposes in the state capital,” he added.
Shivakumar said providing drinking water is the government’s priority and it is following the SC’s direction. “Why should we give up our rights? We are following the SC direction and that much water will be reserved in the KRS reservoir or other reservoirs in the Cauvery basin for Bengaluru,” the DyCM said responding to a question if Tamil Nadu will object to the increased allocation to Bengaluru. Stressing the need for a plan to supply drinking water to the city keeping in mind its growth in the next 20 years, he said.
BWSSB yet to prepare plan on water usage
Anekal, Harohalli, and parts of Bengaluru North are growing rapidly. They too need water supply. “We are providing water to Kempegowda International Airport also,” he added. The BWSSB has yet to prepare a plan for the utilization of additional Cauvery water. “It has not taken any decision on which areas to be listed for supply of this additional 6 tmcft of Cauvery water,” BWSSB Engineer-in-Chief B Suresh said.
Meanwhile, a senior engineer said, “It would mostly go to Anekal taluk and peripheral areas. But nothing has been finalized. We are presently utilizing 19 tmcft of Cauvery water.”Another senior engineer said, “Another 10 tmcft of water has been earmarked under Cauvery Water Supply Scheme Stage V and that will go to 110 villages in seven CMCs and one TMC brought under the BBMP in 2007.”
The DyCM said the government has made all preparations to present the Mekedatu balancing reservoir project before the CWMA. “Our officers have proposed discussions on the Mekedatu project during the authority’s 89th meeting. The authority has assured them of discussing the project at the next meeting,” he said. They will also appeal to the apex court to give permission to implement the project, he added.
Shivakumar said Tamil Nadu wants 300 to 400 tmcft of water even during the distress year. But inflows into the KRS reservoir have completely stopped.
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