Dharna for water in Sanjaynagar

Severe water shortage in Sanjaynagar and neighboring areas prompted an organised dharna by the frustrated residents at the Sanjaynagar BWSSB office yesterday.

IMG_1377-1.jpgFrom around 10 am, a few people started collecting at the office premises. The residents had already informed the BWSSB staff at the Sanjaynagar office and the cops at the Sanjaynagar police station. By around 10.45, there was a decent crowd. The cops were also seen in full strength.

“The situation has been quite bad for a few months now. The regular water supply has been only once in 2 days and that too for just about an hour or so”, complained the residents.” I gathered that in the month of March, there were homes that haven’t even seen a drop of water in their water sump tanks. Unfortunately for them, most of their bore wells have dried up too. They have no choice but to buy water from the private companies that deliver water in tanks. Typically, these companies only supply to one house at a time. Most of the sump tanks are large enough to only hold half the water from these tanks. The companies have a policy where-in they do not supply the remaining water to anybody else! So, you pay for the full tank and only get half the water you paid for!!

IMG_1374-1.jpgAll the people who had come for the dharna assembled under the trees inside the office compound. The crowd started shouting slogans against the BWSSB officials and demanded for water. Everybody then went to the main road in front of the office. Some of them sat in the middle of the road and the rest of the crowd managed to block the traffic. The residents had sought permission from the cops for doing so. So, the cops re-routed the traffic for the half hour when the people were on the road.

The whole affair was fairly peaceful with the cops always being around to make sure nothing untoward happens. The crowd then went into the office premises where they met with some senior BWSSB officials who were informed of the dharna. The residents wanted to know why certain areas in Bangalore enjoyed very good water supply and others didn’t. The BWSSB officials were trying to explain their problems, but all of that was lost in the din. Everybody was talking at the same time and I think the max that anybody would have understood from the proceedings was that there was severe water shortage. Can’t blame them, considering what a basic necessity it is. IMG_1371-1.jpg

I am really not sure why some areas are facing such extreme shortage when other areas are not. I am guessing the water supplies are different for different parts of town. Would any of you have an idea? It just doesn’t seem fair on these people. One very cynical resident was of the opinion that “this country was not going to go anywhere even in the next 100 years.” He said that there was no water policy here that restricted the use of drinking water for other purposes such as construction work, watering the greenery etc.

At the end of the dharna, there were some promises made about more water supply to Sanjaynagar and the neighboring areas. Whether that will happen or not is to be seen. The residents did get some water last evening, and I am guessing it was just about enough for a day’s use. Whether the promises will be kept, no one knows. Only time will tell. The summer is already here, and with the water situation being the way it is, I really pity the plight of these residents.

1) Is there such a shortage in any other areas of Bangalore? If so, how do you manage?
2) Have you approached BWSSB before with any issues? Has it helped?

7 Comments so far

  1. SHADOW (unregistered) on March 15th, 2007 @ 2:29 pm

    This is just a beginning and many areas of Bangalore will struggle for water in coming days, There was a huge plans to bring up more Cauvery water to Bangalore in order to cater the water needs in the city but with a recent verdict of Cauvery tribunal this has just screwed up, Tribunal never consider the water needs of Bangalore in there verdict, Central Govt needs Tax,Name,Employment etc from Bangalore & never thought of caring the city. I hate these political games…..

  2. George Matthew (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 10:40 am

    WE must all do our part to conserve water.Check out This post

  3. tarlesubba (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 7:26 pm

    chitra excellent piece!!

    from what i read TG Halli reservoir is as dry as a bone. even drier days ahead.


  4. Chitra (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 8:37 pm

    Shadow, today there was an article in the newspaper elaborating on the water shortage situation. Looks like it is so in many areas of Bangalore. The Cauvery verdict didn’t really take the city’s explosion in th erecent years into account. And I guess we will all pay the price for that.

    George Matthew, true, conserving water will work, along with tons of planning. We seem to be lagging behind on the planning front.

    Tarlesubba, thanks! That is scary! I really wonder how the next couple of months are going to be for Bangaloreans.

  5. tarlesubba (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 9:35 pm


    Warning – I am a news junkie and given to paranoia.
    DH broke this news first. B’lore will be severely short changed by the tribunal. I hate to sound like the man who originally said it in a different context, but while conservation is a noble virtue it cannot be the sole policy on which B’lore’s water supply rests. Distress time water sharing needs attention NOW.

  6. tarlesubba (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 11:14 pm

    excellent images chitra. action and all. would’nt have read/seen a better kaNNu kaTTO report from the degree holders.

    for what it is worth here is my beke beku neeru beku from doora theera.

  7. Chitra (unregistered) on March 21st, 2007 @ 5:39 am

    TarleSubba, news junkies are welcome!

    Thanks! I enjoyed being there and covering it.

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