Examining Bengaluru’s Water Crisis - Eastern Mirror
Thursday, April 18, 2024

Examining Bengaluru’s Water Crisis

By The Editorial Team Updated: Mar 12, 2024 12:13 am

Although known as the ‘garden city of India’ Bengaluru may soon run out of water as more than 50 per cent of the city’s borewells have gone dry, causing unprecedented distress to the local populace. The local administration has washed its hands by putting the blame on insufficient rainfall without answering the crucial question of why timely remedial steps were not taken. A few years ago a study predicted that soon, cities like Cape Town and Bengaluru would face severe water crunch, potentially making these cities unlivable. While Cape Town managed to avert the impending danger by taking timely action, Bengaluru failed to take steps to prevent the crisis. Even now, as the people are being forced to pay exorbitant prices to buy a bottle of drinking water, the authorities have done little to ease the plight of the people. They are focused on ambitious plans but are not moving towards solving the problem. For instance, it is estimated that to replenish groundwater sources in the city, over 1300 million litres of treated water per day will need to be poured into the drying lakes. Furthermore, the authorities are also contemplating the construction of water plants equipped with modern technology to reuse waste water. It is obvious that it will take years for the people to benefit from such projects and the situation demands immediate strategies and implementation rather than long-term policies, to defuse the present water crisis. It’s a pity that so far the authorities have remained quiet on short-term plans, leaving the field open to unscrupulous elements to take advantage of Bengaluru’s water crisis.

According to experts, unplanned development, rampant groundwater extraction, lack of waste water recycling facilities, misuse, etc. are the main reasons behind the water famine in Bengaluru. Among these, unplanned development and rampant extraction of groundwater are interlinked as the city has grown substantially since it has become the ‘silicon valley of India.’ IT companies and their employees have put enormous pressure on the existing infrastructure of the city. So when new settlements were being built, the authorities did not make adequate facilities for drinking water, sanitation, etc. The failure has opened the door for private players to enter into the scene by making their own arrangements to supply water to the habitants residing in newly built highrises. Bengaluru requires 2100 millions of litre per day (MLD) of potable water and as the Cauvery River provides only 1450 MLD, there exists a shortfall of around 650 MLD which thus far was being met by extracting groundwater, without establishing necessary plans to keep its level intact. Rather, authorities encouraged digging of more borewells to keep the crisis away disregarding the warning from Niti Aayog about the availability of groundwater in the near future. Thus, as the borewells have gone dry, the authorities are left with no other alternative but to look up to the sky for rain in order to harvest it.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Mar 12, 2024 12:13:17 am
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