Water has become gold for desperate residents

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By Y Maheswara Reddy

BWSSB cuts off water supply after Bhuvanagiri Layout residents complain of contamination

Residents of Bhuvanagiri Layout near Banaswadi have been without water for the past 20 days and the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) authorities are yet to restore the supply. However, the BWSSB authorities seem to have no clue on what is the source of the contamination, and are on a digging spree, like a trial and error basis, to find what is wrong.

It all began with the residents complaining to the BWSSB authorities against contaminated water in Bhuvanagiri Layout. The BWSSB promptly stopped the supply of contaminated water to avoid residents having any health problems, but no measures were made to ensure there is water provided till the supply is restored.

While some of the residents find it difficult to pay exorbitant price to private water suppliers, a few others could not afford to have guests due to an acute shortage of water.

“I am very sad for having to send my children, who had came to here for the summer vacation, to Shivamogga, but I have no other option. They came here to spend summer holidays but have to go back to Shivamogga due to lack of water. Our water sump has the capacity of 1,000 litres and it has become very tough for me even to engage a private water supplier to supply water,’’ says Gnana Pragash, a resident of Bhuvanagiri Layout.

There are a few residents, especially Christians, who are the worst affected due to the lack of water supply. “Good Friday is just a few days away. I am worried about celebrating Easter in the absence of water supply. I am ready to pay money to the private water suppliers but they will not supply water on time,’’ says Shanthi Peter, a resident of 3rd Cross who paid Rs 1,000 to a private water supplier for supplying 4,000 litres of water.

According to Bhuvanagiri Welfare Association president S P Hegde, careless and indiscriminate digging of roads for laying electric cable might have damaged a water pipe.

“I want the authorities concerned to supervise the digging work since labourers will have no knowledge about water supply pipes. The BWSSB authorities are trying to locate the source of contamination but they are yet to be succeeded,’’ says S P Hegde.

He said the residents were not receiving sufficient water due to the negligence of BWSSB staffs. “We have to be in touch with those working at the BWSSB pump house on a daily basis. They forget to restart the motor to pump water whenever there is a fluctuation in power supply,’’ he complains.

According to Amith Nigli, a social worker, around 500 households are affected due to the stoppage of water supply. He says that the BWSSB has to supply water through tankers till water supply is restored but only a few residents get free water or should have given a definite time frame for the residents .

“The BWSSB should have been responsible enough to inform all the affected residents as soon as they received complaints from them about the contamination of water 20 days ago, but they failed to do so. This has resulted in the residents having to spend Rs 800 to Rs 1,200 to clean the overhead tanks. Some of the residents, who could not afford to pay such exorbitant price, have to clean tanks and sumps on their own to remove the contaminated water,’’ says Amith Nigli.

When contacted, Banaswadi corporator (ward no.27) A Kodanda Reddy said, “I am aware of the water problem at Bhuvanagiri Layout. I have asked the BWSSB engineer to fix the problem as early as possible.’’ Meanwhile, BWSSB Assistant Executive Engineer Chalapathi has said the water supply would be restored as soon as possible. “We are trying our best to identify the source of contamination but in vain. We are confident of fixing the problem soon. We are supplying water to the residents through water tankers free of cost,’’ says Chalapathi.

However, the residents are not ready to take Chalapathi’s assurance seriously. “We are fed up of hearing the same assurance for the last 20 days. It has become a habit for Chalapathi to say the same thing to anyone who calls him over the phone from this area,’’ says Anju Menezes, another resident of Bhuvanagiri Layout.



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