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Bangalore, a water guzzler

Cool climate. IT capital. Happening city. But all this is under threat as water sources for the city dry up. With Karnataka facing its third year of drought, many areas are getting water only on alternate days. An interview with MN Vidyashankar, Chairman, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board.

india Updated: Jun 13, 2003 18:08 IST

An interview with MN Vidyashankar,Chairman, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and the man in the hot seat in summer.


A view of the Garden City: The famous Cubbon Park

What is the water situation in Bangalore like?

In comparison to other metros in India, Bangalore is doing well. But what is alarming is the level of water in the Kabini and KRS reservoirs, the two main reservoirs from which water is supplied to the city. The levels in these reservoirs has reached an all-time low, the least in the last 48 years.

Right now we are managing well but a lot depends on the monsoons. They are already delayed by a couple of days.

We were expecting the rains to hit Kerala by June 1. We will hopefully be in a satisfactory situation as the monsoon has arrived in Kerala by June 8. Once it starts raining in Kerala the Kabini catchment area will get filled.

What is the requirement of water in Bangalore?
We pump 800 million litres of water every day. This is the highest usage of water by any metro in India. The cost of water works out to be Rs 17 crore a month. No other city spends as much on its daily water consumption. The reason being that the nearest source of water is 120 km away from the city. Bangalore has 100 wards. Recently 27 more wards have been added. These

Important BWSSB phone numbers 

Central Complaint:

Phone no.- 1916

MNK Park Complaint: 

6500036 extension 126

CJF Central Complaint: 

3341285 extension 165 & 166

Field Office: 

6658431 extension 252

don't have water and sewage lines. The BWSSB supplies water to these wards through pipelines which cost Rs 1.5 crore approximately.

If the monsoons had been further delayed, would you have rationed water?
As I said we pump more than 800 million litres of water per day. At this rate we will be able to supply only till the third week of June. This is if the rains are delayed any further. Till then we will continue to supply every alternate day. We haven't taken any decision on rationing water as yet. We are monitoring the situation daily. We will have another board meeting soon on the issue. Right now we don't want to press any panic button.

First Published: Jun 10, 2003 17:19 IST