WATER, WATER… WHERE?

WATER, WATER… WHERE?

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PIL POWER FOR PEOPLE’S PIPELINE

High Court direction to BMC.

Do you know?

(i) Mumbai’s 160 km long, over 100 years old water pipelines were laid by Britishers when the population was less than 1 million which is 15 million today.

(ii) 90 km. of which running overground, are guarded by only 10 guards, with one vehicle and no proper communication system?

(iii) 33000 slums are set up on or around pipelines which are exposed to terror attacks.

(iv) Slum dwellers puncture the pipes for water.

(v) Pipes at many place pass through gutters, contaminating water through rusted and leaked pipes.

(vi) daily leakage is equivalent to daily water supply to whole of Pune City i.e. 700 million litres.

PIL No.140 of 2006 filed by Janhit Manch came for hearing to-day before Hon’ble Justice Nazki and Hon’ble Justice Ms.Tahilramani where I appeared in person.

Today the Hon’ble Court was pleased to direct the Mumbai Municipal Corporation that an affidavit be filed by the Commissioner before the next date of hearing on 10th June 2009 containing the complete plan for revamping the whole network of pipeline, the estimated cost, the resource mobilisation and replacing the time for commencing and completion of the project.

If BMC asks for 3 years (say) time, fine. Mumbaikars are assured thereafter for uninterrupted and clean water supply.

Bhagvanji Raiyani

President

Janhit Manch.

09820403912

Impending water scarcity looms over Pune villages

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

New Picture (42)Pune:

The blistering heat has sure had its effect on the district’s thirst. The water scarcity in Pune’s rural areas is quite acute this summer. While these villages consumed 50 water tankers in June last year, they are expected to cross this figure in the second week of May itself.

“It is just the first week of May and over 39,000 residents of 24 villages and 135 vaadis have started calling for water tankers. By the end of next week, the number of tankers supplying water to these villages will cross 50,” said officials in the district administration.

Saying that they have registered more demand for water tankers from rural areas this year, Prakash Kadam, resident district collector, said, “The situation is quite serious. The water level has dipped in dams and the demand will continue to rise till the monsoon arrives. The number of villages facing scarcity also will go up this summer.”

“The live water storage at Nazare dam in Purandar tehsil has gone below 0%. The villages nearby are being supplied water from the dam’s dead stock,” he said.

Kadam said that recently, a meeting to review the scarcity in Pune District was called by the district collector. “All departments under the district administration have been asked to tackle the scarcity situation on priority basis. Out of 13 tehsils, nine depend on tankers for water.” he added.

Surprisingly, even though the water resources have dried up, there has been no demand for starting works under the Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) in any of the tehsils. “Over 300 works pertaining to digging and repairing of wells and water supply schemes will taken up in the district soon,” Kadam said.

Elaborating on the water supply for Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, Kadam said, “The dams supplying water to these cities will last till July. Our top priority is to fulfil the needs of drinking water.”

Where is the WATER?

With polls nearing, one sees million promises of better prospects here, there, everywhere. Can these airy promises make any difference to a city drying out of a basic necessity?

Jayashree Nandi and Aarthi R | TNN
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Bangalore: The city is reeling under severe water crisis. But why is it that the country’s Silicon Valley, which has always been the fountainhead of innovation in all sectors, denied the most essential element needed for its survival — water. What are the causes and what can be done to bring some relief to the people, we look at the related issues.
LIMITED SUPPLY
The city gets water from Cauvery basin through Thippagondanahalli Reservoir as well as different stages of Cauvery schemes undertaken by BWSSB. The total quantity that can be drawn in a Hydraulic year — not only for Bangalore but also for other towns and cities and industries located within Cauvery basin — is limited to 8.75 thousand million cubic metres (TMC).
This is the amount out of the 17.22 TMC for urban population as per the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) award. “As this quantity’s been already drawn recently, we have no choice, and we can’t draw more water from rivers in Cauvery basin. This could bring to an end all future industrial and urban developmental works in Cauvery basin,” predicts Capt S Raja Rao, former secretary, minor irrigation and development department.

INCREASING DEMAND
Limited supply is another problem for expanding Bangalore. BMP enlarged to BBMP, bringing 7 CMCs, 1 TMC and 110 villages into its fold — all thirsting for Cauvery water. Also, the new international airport, Metro Project and the proposed mono-Rail Project will need substantial water from BWSSB.
If this was not enough, BDA, BMRDA and the Karnataka Housing Board are planning large residential projects. Many private builders have developed large areas for habitation.

The number of Ring Roads, peripheral roads and interconnecting Ring Roads have also increased the horizontal extent of city development. All with one need — water.
RISE OF BOREWELLS

Indiscriminate construction without assured water supply has led to random digging of borewells. The state has permitted water to ‘water intensive’ industries that require over 2 lakh litres per day, but many don’t have access to assured water supply till 2012. The industries are spread around the city.

This has made the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) take a stand that no clearances will be given to industrial or housing complexes, malls and hotels unless there is assured water supply.

“There is a particular case where a builder has paid huge amounts to BWSSB, but supply is still pending. I haven’t cleared it. The apartment is ready and tenants want to move in. The builder is frantically running around to settle things. But how can I give the clearance?” asks KSPCB chief H S Sharathchandra.

At Highgrounds — where most ministers reside and Cauvery connection is available — poor supply means borewells dot the neighbourhood. Though BWSSB has assured water supply to Bangalore International Airport, other activities around the airport that require water rely on borewells.

This is a cause for concern as the area was declared parched in the early 1960, and can’t sustain the load for long.
Borewells are not just servicing household requirements; many are making a business out of it by supplying water in tankers to those in need.

BUYING FROM BWSSB
In Whitefield and Electronics City, industry associations are buying water in bulk from BWSSB and selling them to members. According to KPSCB, this is not a viable proposition as saturation point will soon be reached and there won’t be any water.

RECYCLING WATER
Many apartments and some hotels like Taj Westend, Grand Ahok and Windsor Manor are relying on treatment plants and recycled water. Also, the borewells recently dried up completely at Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium. There was no water to maintain the park, so now treated water is being supplied from Windsor Manor for its maintenance.

Even officialdom is batting for recycling. “We hope to get in more water through other measures like rainwater harvesting, which I’m hoping will make a mark. Rejuvenation of lakes and tanks alongside recycling might augment supply for non-potable use. We also hope to get in some measures to restrict wastage,” says BWSSB chairman P B Ramamurthy.

FROM WHERE WILL BANGALORE GET WATER CONSIDERING…

Bangalore Rural and Urban Districts are already classified as ‘over exploited’ with respect to ground water sources CWDT has put a cap on use of surface water in Cauvery basin The ‘New Ground Water Bill’ will not permit drawing any further ground water
RESIDENTS’ WOES
We’re waiting for Cauvery water for the past four years. We’ve paid the amount for the connection, and have a bill that acknowledges the same. But they didn’t give us a timeframe for the supply. We’re now dependent on borewells, which worries us. But it’s strange that an IT park adjacent to our layout, which came up long after ours did, gets regular Cauvery water. Worse, they use the water to maintain their gardens while we don’t have it even to drink! — Mukesh Agarwal |

VASWANI GOLF VISTA APARTMENT OWNERS’ ASSOCIATION, CHALLAGHATTA

We were to get water every alternate day but it’s just namesake. Over 4,900 residents are suffering here due to erratic water supply for the past one week. Many are from middle and lower-middle class, and they have to hire tankers that cost Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 every month. Filling a 2,000-litre sump each time costs Rs 200. And we’re not very sure of the quality of water supplied.

Also, new pipelines were laid here three months ago but nothing has happened since. Even the debris is uncleared

M Chandra Reddy | INDIRANAGAR RESIDENTS’ WELFARE ASSOCIATION, 2ND STAGE, HAL

It’s been more than two months now. There is irregular water supply in Sanjaynagar. We get water every alternate day, but what we get is hardly 40% of the regular supply. And there are some who don’t get water at all. In addition to paying the water bill, we also pay for the tankers — Rs 300 once a week. It’s so difficult to see regular ‘satisfying’ supply — V Satyamurthy |

SANJAYNAGAR RESIDENTS’

WELFARE ASSOCIATION DRYING UP FAST
Some hotels rely on treatment plants and recycled water. The borewells recently dried up completely at Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium The quantity laid down by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal has already been drawn. So more water can’t be drawn from rivers in Cauvery basin, ending all future industrial and urban developmental works in the basin

Construction without assured water supply led to digging of borewells, which are fast depleting . Karnataka State Pollution Control Board will not give clearances to industrial or housing complexes, malls and hotels unless there is assured water supply

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