Water is GS Ramanna's biggest headache. The 65-year-old resident of Sidedahalli, north-west Bangalore, buys water from private operators who supply through tankers. Ramanna's water bill has doubled in the past 12 months. He paid Rs 250-300 for a tanker full of water, about 4,000 litres, last year; he shells out Rs 600 now. And summer demand will push prices higher.
Ramanna says: "Cauvery water is a distant dream. The groundwater level has fallen to 1,100 feet. Those who dig borewells get contaminated water. Supply through BWSSB tankers is just once a week. "
Amrutha G Katte of Channasandra in the Mahadevapura zone says that residents depend on private tankers despite exorbitant rates.
"Those who can't afford tankers buy water in pots. A pot costs Rs 3-5. While erstwhile panchayat representatives are not bothered because we are not their voters, the corporators are yet to connect with our problems. We don't come under the erstwhile CMCs either. "
Private suppliers have jacked up rates because the demand is high. Ramesh S of Siddalingeshwara Water Supply in the Byatarayanapura zone says: "If the destination is close by, we charge Rs 350-400. As the distance increases, the rate goes up. "
The 110 villages (covering 225 sqkm) added to Greater Bangalore are spread across different zones: Bommanahalli, Mahadevapura, Byatarayanapura, Rajarajeshwarinagar and Dasarahalli.
The groundwater level has plummeted to 1,100 feet Water supplied by private tankers costs a bomb Many BBMP borewells are contaminated or defunct BWSSB says 19tmcft is enough for just half of the city Many borewells contaminated.
The IT City tag holds no meaning for the residents of the 110 villages brought under Greater Bangalore as they lack one of the most basic facilities.
Of the 490 borewells maintained by the BWSSB, 169 have been declared contaminated; the level of dissolved solidsin them hascrossed the permissible 500 mg/litre. Eighty other borewells are defunct.
When the water woes of the villages were taken before the high court in September
2013, both BWSSB and BBMP filed affidavits saying they would supply water in 6,000-litretankersin these areas till a permanent system is put in place. However, the promise largely remains on paper as the water board is able to supply to only 54former villages - that too once a week.
A BWSSB official said the board can cater to just half the city's population with the 19 tmcft of Cauvery water allotted to it. "We hope the government's proposalto allocate10tmcft of additional Cauvery water will be realized. "