9-yr wait for Arkavathi river water set to end?


Around 110 MLD of Arkavathi water from TG Halli reservoir may be supplied to west Bengaluru

After a gap of nine years, residents of west Bengaluru are set to get water from the Arkavathi River, if a plan by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) takes off.

Arkavathi used to be the lifeline of Bengaluru. It has dried up. The river originates from the Nandi hill ranges and trickles through a chain of lakes before touching the Hesaraghatta reservoir. From Hesaraghatta, the water flows till Thippagondanahalli (TG Halli) reservoir where it is joined by another stream — Kumudvathi. From here, the river flows all the way till Sangam (near Kanakapura) to join Cauvery.

As per the plan, the western areas of Bengaluru may get around 110 megalitres per day (MLD) of water from TG Halli reservoir, thus bringing down the dependence on Cauvery and borewell water.

The reservoir was built at a place where Arkavathi and Kumudvathi have a storage capacity of 3.34 thousand million cubic feet (TMC). A BWSSB official told Bangalore Mirror, “As per the original plan, 1.7 TMC of water was to be supplied to this reservoir from The Yettinahole water diversion project. The machinery installed at the reservoir was old. Hence, BWSSB took up the project of not just rejuvenating the reservoir, but also replacing the old machinery. A Hyderabad-based company was given a Rs 291.57-crore contract for the entire overhaul process. As of now, 50 per cent of the work has been completed and we expect the project to be completed by December-end or January next year.”

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A pipeline is already in place from Thippagondanahalli to Malleswaram to pump water from Arkavathi to the western areas of the city. It stopped from December 2012 when the water level reached the dead storage level. An official added, “Rampant encroachment of the catchment areas and urbanisation had resulted in drastic reduction of water and lower rainfall added to the woes.”

Last year, the water level at the reservoir was 34 feet while on Monday, the water level was at 27.5 feet against the full reservoir level (FRL) of 74 feet. It was once the lifeline for north and west Bengaluru with 60 million litres of water being drawn till April 2010. Then, it was gradually reduced to 20 MLD and the supply stopped completely in December 2012.

According to BWSSB sources, Bengaluru faced a severe water crisis in 1925 when the Hesaraghatta Lake became dry. A committee under the chairmanship of Sir M Visvesvaraya identified TG Halli reservoir as a source of water supply to citizens and this was commissioned in 1933. However, since this reservoir’s water was not enough to quench Bengaluru’s thirst, the state government started plans to draw water from the Cauvery.



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Sagar Biswas

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